St. Vincent, by St. Vincent

St. Vincent’s new image seems to speak of brand-new musical territory, with her fantastic outfits and her thunder-cloud of teased-up, stormy gray hair. Upon listening to her new al- bum, you find that the image (and the music) is less about new territory, and more about continuing to reveal the strange creature that is singer-songwriter Annie Clark.

Moments after hitting “play,” her signature brand of glitchy, heavy, synth-laden alt-rock is going full force, as if there had never been a break between albums. The opening track puts you in the right mood straight away, with soaring melodies that pierce your soul when she asks, “Am I the only one in the only world?”

St. Vincent’s attempts at the slow jam are a tad hit and miss. I understand her need for them; all the songs here would be the same tempo if they were missing; but a certain creative spark goes out as she drawls out lines like, “I prefer your love to Jesus,” as if she’s as bored with the song as we are.

The high moments in this album make up for the low ones. This chick is still one of the most invigorating and original voices in popular music, and a few songs here are almost flawless—”Bring Me All Your Loves” is instantly tragic, humorous, dance-y, and epic, and it remains so throughout its three-minute running time.

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Howl was born in the wastes north of Hithlum, where only beasts and witches dare roam. He was raised by two old hags, Tabby and Wiles, who had an unhealthy fascination towards the literary arts. Howl now resides in a well-furnished cave off South Rim Trail, complete with an old iBook and Wi-Fi.