St. Vincent
Actor


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
May 4th, 2009 | 95 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Actor shows the potential and talent that St. Vincent ultimately holds

Annie Clark is looking awfully orange lately, and it is certainly not from a spray tanner. Instead, the upcoming indie-rock artist, who goes by her moniker of St. Vincent, wants her face and name out for everyone to see, and her orange cover just might have you craving more than just a creamsicle. Just one album removed from her debut, Marry Me, St. Vincent has gone from gray to orange, but the colors hardly represent the mood between albums. Actor represents a more defined and daring side of St. Vincent, a side that is rather enticing.

The mystique of Actor can all begin with “The Strangers.” A tidy and fitting opening track which transforms from cute to daring before angelic hymns whisk away the beautiful mess created. “The Strangers” and Actor as a whole may not live up to the pop-sensibilities found in “Now Now” from Marry Me per se, but the rich and harmonious sound is still there. St. Vincent is rather well versed at integrating darker, heavier sections with harmless, fragile portions found in tracks like “The Neighbors” and “Marrow.” With such in-song diversity, Actor floats by with little hesitation or disturbances. The flow is seamlessly natural, and certainly plays ‘faster’ than Marry Me.

Actor also finds itself buried deep in what can sound like a soundtrack to a whimsical Middle-Ages themed fable at times (see: “Black Rainbow” and “The Bed”). Using an array of different instruments varying from woodwinds to xylophones, a small orchestra builds layers backing St. Vincent’s voice, one that never stresses or necessarily strives for the higher notes. Certainly one of the vocal and musical highlights comes from the slow-ballad in “The Party.” Simple, melodic pianos tipped with wavering hymns combine for a riveting performance; a performance that is later intensified by accompanying strings and drums. Lyrically, St. Vincent is charming, smart, and certainly entertaining; characteristics that mirror the album rather well.

Between the organic and artificial sounds found in Actor, St. Vincent’s voice melts the two clashing styles into a divinely pleasurable experience. It’s clear that the experimental side of St. Vincent is still growing and maturing to fit with her pop style, but for now it is working out without much of a hitch. Nothing rhymes with orange and I can confidently say that nothing out right now is quite like St. Vincent’s Actor.



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user ratings (343)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Jonathan Kroening (4)
Bewitching and flawed in all the ways a tale of happily ever after ought to be....

robin EMERITUS (4.5)
Just what everyone wanted her to do: develop....

A_Guy (4.5)
This sophomore release from St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) showcases even more complex and catchy com...


Comments:Add a Comment 
gaslightanthem
May 4th 2009


5209 Comments


she's no joanna newsom or laura marling for that matter but she is okay

AggravatedYeti
May 4th 2009


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like St. Vincent, short review from you, but still fulfilling.

joshuatree
Emeritus
May 4th 2009


3742 Comments


not big on her

BallsToTheWall
May 4th 2009


44472 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Forgot to acquire this. Need to do so now.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

Pointro
May 4th 2009


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is more rounded than Marry Me, but the tracks are a lot less hard-hitting.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2009


17920 Comments


intro is so lol but it made me smile :]

taylormemer
May 4th 2009


4917 Comments


Just sorta made me a little peckish for some navels.

Navel oranges.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
May 4th 2009


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I hate both of her album covers

robin
Emeritus
May 5th 2009


4248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this ones a slightly bigger clash.

Meatplow
May 5th 2009


5524 Comments


she is really attractive to me :?

might look into her work

foreverendeared
May 5th 2009


14678 Comments


I think the other album cover is quirky and cute, but this one she just looks psycho

Meatplow
May 5th 2009


5524 Comments


yah I like them weird psycho chicks

AggravatedYeti
May 5th 2009


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ oh yah she does. What I've heard from this is good, I'm stealing the vinyl from my radio station...soonish.

easylee
May 5th 2009


80 Comments


so much canceraids... so little cover space

RandyfromPennywise
May 9th 2009


752 Comments


Where are the recommendations as in what this sounds like?

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
May 9th 2009


7026 Comments


I love "Marrow"

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

natey
May 13th 2009


4170 Comments


this is a weird album to swallow

JeffBowde
May 25th 2009


7 Comments


she shreds on guitar. Her composition is amazing. weakest part are the lyrics, and they are pretty damn impressive.

AtavanHalen
July 1st 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just got this. Absolutely gorgeous.

Bleak
July 9th 2009


258 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This review and album made me smile



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