Marry Me (Beggars Banquet)
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., July 27, 2007
St. VincentMarry Me (Beggars Banquet)
Titling your major label bow Marry Me builds certain expectations. Thankfully, everywhere on her full-length debut, Annie Clark makes the title's request impossible. Of course, this only makes the ebb and flow of her music even more engaging. As St. Vincent, the Dallas singer-songwriter plays a handful of instruments on Marry Me, ably weaving Southern electro-gothic with Parisian simplicity, her songs obsessed with impending doom, religious salvation, and the (im)possibility of love. The title track and "Jesus Saves, I Spend" are fine, if a bit whimsical, but Clark's dark side is more interesting. On the swelling "All My Stars Aligned," she smiles "to keep the sky from falling down" over longtime Bowie pianist Mike Garson's woozy trickle. Fifty years ago, it could have been a Patsy Cline song. "Your Lips Are Red" demonstrates her guitar skills away from collaboration (Sufjan Stevens, Polyphonic Spree), and it's purposely messy and rough. The same goes for her wordplay toward album's end, the message conflicted: the molasses crawl of "Landmines" ("I'm crawling through landmines/I know because I planted them") and the jazzy bop of "Human Racing" ("Mary, dear, how you feel?/Are you lost without your lamb?/I think I understand"). Closer "What Me Worry" lays Disneyesque strings and brass over Clark's hand-wringing, and it's absolutely captivating. "Life is one charming ruse for us lucky few," she purrs through the veil. "Have I fooled you, dear?" We get no closer to understanding Clark's ruse, but that's not what she was proposing in the first place.
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Abby Johnston, Fri., May 24, 2013
Doug Freeman, Fri., May 24, 2013
Chase Hoffberger, Fri., May 24, 2013
Kevin Curtin, Fri., May 24, 2013
at The Belmont
2013 Lambda Literary Awards/Reading at BookWoman
Husbands at The Marchesa Hall & Theatre
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