St. Vincent

Actor (4AD)

Phases & Stages

St. Vincent

Actor (4AD)

Over smoky piano standout "The Party," Annie Clark purrs: "I lick the ice cube from your empty glass. Oh, we stayed much too late, 'til they're cleaning the ashtrays." Meanwhile, she keeps an "eye on the exit sign, steady now." As on her 2007 debut, Marry Me, the former Texan is looking for a way out of her song, though she makes interesting conversation while there. Her second album is less precious, something attributed to either maturity or a better grasp of the script. Opener "The Strangers" gathers black cloud cover, following Clark through swatches of electronic colors until she finally lets her guitar do the screaming. Smooth jam "Laughing With a Mouth of Blood" disorients over dreamy instrumentation ("Just like an amnesiac, trying to get my senses back"), a pairing that informs much of Actor. The 1980s electro-thump of "Actor Out of Work" and "Marrow" beef up the disc's more domestic fare, the latter evoking Prince. A few songs could slim down, but the star gets in and out of her dream sequences seamlessly, already thinking of her next line.

***

READ MORE
More St. Vincent
Massive
Massive
The compassion of St. Vincent

Abby Johnston, Oct. 10, 2014

ACL Fest 2014 Interviews
St. Vincent
5:15pm, RetailMeNot stage

Abby Johnston, Oct. 3, 2014

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
My Jerusalem
A Little Death (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, July 15, 2016

Texas Platters
The Echocentrics
Echo Hotel (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, June 24, 2016

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

St. Vincent

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)