St. Vincent – Actor

May 2, 2009

stvincentactorMix up some Jane Siberry, Kate Bush, Bjork or Suzanne Vega circa 99.9 F along with some Roxy Music and Cocteau Twins and a good amount of industrial influence, and you have a close approximation of singer/songwriter Anne Clark aka St. Vincent’s sophomore album, Actor. Though largely filled with electronic based music, Clark and her collaborators layer guitars, strings and an impressive array of other instrumentation over many of the songs, so virtually every track has its own character and frequently its own set of sonic surprises to uncork on listeners. At least two of the songs rise effectively into loud crescendos, while other tracks are more low key, though often more unsettling than soothing. If there’s not a song quite as immediately addictive as the title track, “Marry Me,” on her debut album, there are enough beautiful and odd and flat out appealingly noisy moments to make up for it. It’s not a huge leap forward from St. Vincent’s debut, but it’s a promising progression, anyway. Standout cuts: “The Strangers,” “Actor Out Of Work,” “Black Rainbow” and “Marrow.”


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