WVAU’s #5 AOTY: MASSEDUCTION by St. Vincent

Emily Shelton

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MASSEDUCTION stands as one of the more memorable albums of the year. Annie Clark, known as St. Vincent, has pioneered alt-pop experimental music to a cater to a mass audience. In MASSEDUCTION, Clark pivots more to pop and electronica more than ever.

Clark seems to establish a new voice, a new life, with every album. Over ten years and six albums, she seems to have never settled on a definite sound for herself. What we do know is that Clark continues to stretch her bounds with successes and repercussions involved.

MASSEDUCTION echoes the work of past experimental musicians like David Bowie, Bjork, and Beck. With electronic beats and ambient music defining the soundscape of the album, Clark crafts pop masterpiece with a more broad spectrum of sound than ever before.

Like every other St. Vincent album, MASSEDUCTION begins with a song to preface the album to come. “Hang On Me‰” establishes the new sound Clark plans for the audience to experience.

Photo by Nedda Asfari

“Los Ageless,‰” “Young Lover,‰” and “New York‰” stand close to radio pop, seeming to fit the role of a coming-of-age-teen flick. The songs may even seem simple compared to the songs like “The Strangers‰” from 2009‰’s Actor, or “Sparrow‰” from her self titled 2015 album.

However, the singles are balanced with mellow tracks like “Happy Birthday, Johnny,‰” and more experimental electronic songs like “Pills.‰”

Most outstanding to me is the end track “Smoking Section.‰” The sultry, beat driven powerhouse of a song builds to incorporate every song of the album. Like a prayer, Clark utters “it‰’s not the end‰” almost like a self reconciliation, ending on a Sgt. Pepper‰’s-esque low ringing piano chord.

In 2017, we saw St. Vincent indulge in pop more than ever. Let‰’s hope that Clark keeps searching for new identities and sounds, and MASSEDUCTION continues her legacy in sonic experimentation.

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WVAU’s #5 AOTY: MASSEDUCTION by St. Vincent