Words by: Ciera Littleford
Cool, sexy, fun, desperately sad. Masseduction embodies all of these and more; St Vincent’s fifth solo album proves to be a concrete triumph. Three years after her ambitious and acclaimed self-titled LP was released, Annie Clark is reaching even greater heights.
Opener ‘Hang On Me’ sets the cathartic tone that resonates through the rest of the album, before launching into lively satire on socialite America, ‘Pills’. Providing vocals on the hook is Clark’s ex-girlfriend, Cara Delevigne, making it all the more sugary. It could be said that Delevigne features on not only vocals but in Clark’s lyrics. Break-up sentiments echo in the more confessional songs on the record, such as tender lead single ‘New York’.
Despite the vast emotional range on the album, however, there’s no shortage of Clark’s signature audacious guitar riffs. ‘Los Ageless’ and ‘Fear The Future’ certainly deliver in this respect. And of course, the alluring title track ‘Masseduction’ lives up to its name, with Clark claiming ‘I can’t turn off what turns me on’, culminating in an unruly guitar solo.
The two final tracks on the album are wistfully dark, with melancholic strings piercing through the soft croons on ‘Slow Disco’. A short but powerful riff interrupts the morbid contemplation on ‘Smoking Section’. It feels as if it’s an unusually grave ending for an album, before Clark serenades us with a hopeful epilogue: ‘And then I think, what could be better than love? / It’s not the end’. As she repeats that closing line, we’re left heartbroken, reassured and stunned, as the realisation hits: this is arguably the best album of 2017 so far.