St. Vincent Masseduction
When St. Vincent released “New York,” the first single off fifth studio album Masseduction, it didn’t burst with the energy of 2014’s self-titled LP. Instead, Annie Clark appeared vulnerable, somber—a softer, stripped-down version of her former persona. But Clark’s career has been that of a shapeshifter, and her latest record is no different.
Some of Masseduction’s cuts—notably “Sugarboy” and the title track—hearken back to “Digital Witness”-style funk. But it isn’t until “Los Ageless” that what began as a numb and synthed-out pop record transforms into something far more haunting, albeit hidden under a few layers of computerized lacquer. Clark blames herself for an estranged relationship with a family member in “Happy Birthday, Johnny”; pines over a romantic interest who has a pill addiction in “Young Lover”; and closes with “Smoking Section,” a “Glory Box”-esque song about (her own?) suicidal thoughts. The latter provides the sigh of relief you need after such a multifaceted, unusually intense album—the kind you breathe after riding a roller coaster. And Masseduction reveals plenty of new thrills with each subsequent ride.