It's often difficult to easily describe just what makes a St. Vincent album such a special work of art. Annie Clark, the brains behind indie-rock act St. Vincent, gloriously stands out in the sea of female singer/songwriters. For one thing, her albums sound like nothing else released that year. She brutally resists the comforting notion that a female songwriter makes fluffy, airy songs about love and life. Sure, her songs concern those matters, but the way she presents them displays a creative force the likes of which have not been harnessed by anyone — male or female — this decade. Clark's musical arrangements, however, are what put her music into an echelon all by herself. Her latest work, Actor, employs a massive sound — a building aural force that peaks in a crescendo of menacing violins, thundering drums, and frenetic guitars. Songs like "The Party" and "Just the Same but Brand New" both start out as light-hearted jaunts, later culminating in a beautiful clash of overwhelming melodies. Clark will no doubt bring such force to the stage, stomping her way through her set while losing herself in musical brilliance.
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