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St. Vincent / Actor
Album:Actor Collection:General
Artist:St. Vincent Added:05/2009
Label:4AD 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2009-06-14 Pull Date:2009-08-16 
Week Ending:16 Aug9 Aug2 Aug26 Jul19 Jul12 Jul5 Jul28 Jun
Airplays:52313213

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Album Review
Adam Pearson
Reviewed 2009-06-08 
Creative, intricate indie pop. Think of The Soft Bulletin, but if Steven Drozd snuck in to the studio strung out one night, and fucked with the master tapes. Hmm. Maybe not. How about indie pop rock with experimental, chamber, classical, and even jazz tendencies? This album plays around with contrasting dissonance and strong hooks within original arrangements. Noisy, angular squalls meet heavy, lumbering percussion and rich, detailed layers of melody and texture. St. Vincent is Annie Clark, who is associated with The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens, and Actor is quite a head-scratching, unpredictable listen. I highlighted three, (almost at random because all tracks are probably around the same quality) but you might as well draw from a hat; they are all interesting and worthwhile in their own way. No FCCs noted.

*1. Orchestral, lush, interesting pop that settles on a groove. Then fuzzed out electric guitar freakout comes in at -1:30, then drops out again to the indie pop (4:05)
2. Synthy type thing opens track, groovin’, heavy rhythm section, with backing vocals and dreamy lead instrument (what is that?). (3:36)
3. Sort of fuzzy again. Kind of reminds me of The Flaming Lips. Cool bridge with lead synth thing. Handclaps, distortion; inventive arrangement. (3:31)
4. Lead single. Vocals are overdubbed; angry, cleaner arrangement on this one, melodic backing vocals. Atmospherics = effect-drenched guitar texture. (2:15)
*5. Rhythmic lead synth with woodwinds... builds to a loud, tense conclusion with screeching violins and other orchestral components. (4:11)
6. Acoustic guitar and syrupy strings opens and shifts into accessible, straightforward pop. Bridge breaks it down and builds it up again. (3:02)
*7. Distant choral synths and eerie plodding rhythm explodes in mariachi-infused orchestral disco? Noisy, twisted, angular, fuzzed-out sections after choruses. This song is pretty warped. (3:24)
8. Mellower track with flourishes of violin, electric pianos, longer instrumental passages and sweet, restrained vocals. (3:43)
9. Slower, simple drumbeat, shifts to ¾ time and then back; simple piano. This is straightforward pop; almost a ballad, with light vocals in the chorus. (4:05)
10. Slow, moody, dreamy track with lots of layers, a loud drum section and then slow, blissful release. (5:24)
11. Woodwinds and orchestra are back; low rhythmic guitar and violins and winds hold long notes. Kind of an abrupt closer. (1:56)


Track Listing
1.The Strangers 6.Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood
2.Save Me From What I Want 7.Marrow
3.The Neighbors 8.The Bed
4.Actor Out Of Work 9.The Party
5.Black Rainbow 10.Just The Same But Brand New
 11.The Sequel