St. Vincent
MASSEDUCTION


3.5
great

Review

by Brendan Schroer CONTRIBUTOR (111 Reviews)
January 7th, 2018 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beautifully, unapologetically flawed.

"You can't fact-check it, but if you want to know about my life, listen to this record." -Annie Clark

The most admirable thing about St. Vincent's fifth album is its unabashed honesty. Masseduction seems to play out in an autobiographical manner - however romanticized or bizarre that autobiography may be - and wears its fascinating quirks on its sleeve. Annie Clark has already proven to us that her mix of eclecticism and emotional depth can take her (and us) to some truly amazing heights, but something about Masseduction's approach is just so... upfront. Whether it's the blunt allusions to the power of pharmaceuticals in the peppy "Pills," the punkish lyrical ugliness in the electronic rock of the title track, or the downright strange fusion of epic choirs and uptempo techno beats in "Sugarboy," Clark steadfastly refuses to conform to pop music's normal conventions. However, despite the fact that she herself intended for Masseduction to be a more personal effort, things are often still veiled and poetic enough that not every line can necessarily be taken literally.

Trying to take a normal critical approach to Masseduction is nearly impossible for me to do. Why" Because, paradoxically, I find the flaws of this album to also be the strengths (and vice versa). On one hand, the experimentation and unsettling nature of the record make it bold and exciting to listen to. On the other hand, I find that they lead to a heavily disjointed experience that's better on a song-by-song basis than a cohesive whole. Hearing something like the beautifully somber and hypnotic ballad "Happy Birthday, Johnny" appear in the same track listing as "Pills" feels like a swift smack to the face, and the overarching contrast in the dynamics of the album just adds fuel to the fire. For instance, one of the album's quietest moments, the phenomenal piano-driven ballad "New York" is directly followed by the manic energy and synthesizer-dominated turbulence of "Fear the Future." If Masseduction's honesty is its greatest asset, then its inconsistency is its greatest crutch. It doesn't seem settled on a direction, and instead opts to say "fuck it" and go in every direction at once. Personally, despite the issues the album has, I do find this approach very bold and admirable at the same time. In the end, I have no choice but to give it a recommendation, even though I would also warn you that the more unconventional stuff can be a serious turn off for some people. The only big question I have is in regards to where Annie Clark goes from here. She's peeled off more layers of her personality and persona - as well as expanding herself stylistically - so what happens next" I suppose we'll see.



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user ratings (309)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2018


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sup

Papa Universe
January 7th 2018


14265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

doesn't change the fact that the album is incredibly disorganised, but still a nice review..



posseduction

Digging: Slow Bloom - Hex Hex Hex

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2018


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. Yeah, it's definitely disorganized, but I guess I have a soft spot for it

Papa Universe
January 7th 2018


14265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

It's weak. And that's coming from someone who has 5d three of her records.

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2018


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I still have to go with her self-titled as my personal fave. The songwriting was so top-notch on that one

Papa Universe
January 7th 2018


14265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Amen!

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2018


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, I'm really in the mood to listen to that one again now. lol

GhostB1rd
January 7th 2018


634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Quit being retarded this is a 5.

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 7th 2018


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nope

el_newg
January 7th 2018


50 Comments


I've listened to this like 10-15 times and still not sure exactly how I feel. overall I like it a lot, but still need to get into the nitty gritty

nice review!

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 8th 2018


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! Yeah, it's definitely an album to absorb over time. I was pretty indifferent the first few times I heard it

Dewinged
January 8th 2018


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The summary is perfect.

Digging: Grayceon - IV

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 8th 2018


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks ;]

GhostB1rd
January 8th 2018


634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Summary sux, he was lyin'.

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 8th 2018


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol

Dewinged
January 8th 2018


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh well...

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2018


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

GhostB1rd is just a bit hyperbolic, I suppose. lol

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 10th 2018


26345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

great review

but this grew to become one of my favorite albums of '17

Digging: William Ryan Key - Thirteen

GhostB1rd
January 10th 2018


634 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Rate it appropriately then gahtdayum.

SoccerRiot
Contributing Reviewer
January 11th 2018


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gh05t0f5arca5t1cB1rd



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