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Strange Mercy

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Editors’ Notes

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

A Labor of Love

If you can remember the first time you listened to an important record, a record that has followed you throughout your life, you probably recall that the experience wasn't easy at first. It started out bumpy and rocky. It sounded so foreign it was almost alien. The record knocked you around, and had it's way with you, but it unlocked your mind and handed you the key.

Over the years such a record has served you as a companion, a confidant and and a caretaker of your best and worst memories. All of the album's possibilities and limits were opened to you, and you were tamed and beholden, forever.

If you've never had a record do that for you, and this record doesn't do it for you, then good day and good luck.

Once You Get It, You'll Love It

At first, I had no interest in St. Vincent's music. I found it too awkward and discomfort for my listening pleasure. But after some encouragement, I decided to really try and fully envelop myself in her music. And you know what? I got it. I got the interest and the like for St. Vincent. Sure her music makes the listener feel a bit out of it, a bit strange, but that's what makes the music exciting to listen to. It may take a little while to become "comfortable" with St. Vincent's music, but once you do, you'll truly enjoy it. The same applies for much of today's great, indie music.

Annie Clark = Musical Goddess

Before I begin, I just want to say that "Chloe In The Afternoon" is the sickest album starter I have heard in a long time! we go. Strange Mercy is in my personal opinion an "Alternative-Rock Classic!" Ms. Clark has proven again that she is a masterful songwriter! Every song on the album is a genuinely unique experience. "Neutered Fruit" is perfect with Clark's signature guitar-work and the more than catchy percussion. "Strange Mercy" is a dark, melodic ballad of beautiful atmospherics and minimal guitar melodies. And "Cheerleader" is a personal look into Ms. Clark's past utilizing lyrics a its strong point, "I played dumb when I knew better, Tried too hard just to be clever." Each song is masterfully crafted and I must say that St. Vincent is officially in my top favorites! She is a treasure that I hope everyone finds and appreciates!


Born: September 28, 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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