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Strange Mercy

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iTunes Review

After two previous releases, St. Vincent (a.k.a. Annie Clark) finds a way to channel her avant-garde instincts in more accessible directions, displaying a firm grasp on pop songwriting forms even as she subverts them. In tandem with producer John Congleton, she plays nervous industrial beats and quivering keyboards against billowing ‘60s-ish melodies. Her cooing vocals on “Cruel” and “Surgeon” insinuate dark scenarios of betrayal and abandonment, transcending mere irony into something palpably sinister. More direct in their intentions are “Cheerleader” (an anthem of personal liberation) and “Champagne Year” (a jaundiced look at success). If Clark’s lyrics tease and dazzle, her music hits hard sonically, clattering to a galloping groove on “Hysterical Strength” and erupting into guitar-fueled cacophony on “Northern Lights.” The otherworldly grandeur of Kate Bush or Björk is recalled on tracks like “Chloe In the Afternoon.” But St. Vincent is in a class all her own as she exorcises sexual demons, grapples with psychic breakdown, and achieves an uncanny catharsis.

Customer Reviews


Great album., haunting melodies, exceptional talent. Hope she gets the recognition she deserves.

Love it!

If you like Goldfrapp then this is the sort of album they could make,Strongly agree with OZZYBOY it is just sublime.

One of the best from 2011

I must say that it took me a while to "get" St. Vincent's sound as it really is like nothing else I've ever really heard. But after only a few listens I found myself humming along to 'Cruel', the catchiest song on the album, and I haven't managed to find a way to get it out of my head since. The soaring psychedelic synths and Annie Clark's gentle, ethereal vocals contrast with the heavy, industrial grunge guitar melodies to create an insatiably enigmatic and unique sound. Annie is really in her element on this album; her idiosyncratic, bizarre lyrics combined with her incredible guitar playing make each song a trip for the listener.
With standout tracks such as Chloe in the Afternoon, Cruel, Surgeon, Strange Mercy is definitely one of the best albums released last year.


Born: 28 September 1982 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

St. Vincent became one of the unexpected success stories of indie rock with the release of her second album, Actor, in 2009; the literate, emotionally intricate songs and rich, beautifully crafted pop melodies made her an immediate hit with critics, but few expected her music to cross over to mainstream acceptance. However, St. Vincent's beguiling sounds helped Actor rise to number 90 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts, and its follow-up, Strange Mercy, confirmed her newfound stardom by debuting...
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