Context – driving home
I’ve been waiting for this album all year, and with a build up of over ten months of expectation and rising anticipation, it risks becoming a case of a thing having a prohibitive amount of hype.
Every St. Vincent album introduces a new element to her sound: Marry Me introduced us to this indie-pop songstress and her refreshing take on the guitar as noise-maker, Actor added a little energy and momentum to offset it from Marry Me‘s more somber moments, Strange Mercy added a little rock-n’-roll without compromising her pop sensibilities, and St. Vincent reminded us how to dance in our bedrooms when we thought our parents were asleep.
MASSEDUCTION picks up where the self-titled left off, adding an element of sexiness that I never picked up on previous efforts from St. Vincent. There are still the driving beats, the synth-y melodies, the fuzzed out guitar riffs that take her music into almost industrial places, but the album definitely wants you to take off your clothes.
This is an unexpected turn for me, considering her love songs tend to focus on introspective and tender moments, or else are so shrouded in metaphor that I didn’t notice they were love songs. It’s not unwelcome, but still an adjustment.
Despite how good this album is, it somehow falls short of my expectations. By this I mean this album is like an 8.7 when I expected a 9.4; it’s still very much in the contention for best album of 2017 in my opinion. Nothing lacks, everything feels connected without feeling same-y, this isn’t just a re-packaged Digital Witness. Nothing but high highs without any notable lows.
But expectation is a fickle bitch, and I’m still left wanting a little something extra. I need to get over myself and accept the gifts that St. Vincent gives us, or maybe I’m just fried from how busy this weekend was, but either way I’m feeling slightly unfulfilled and wish this blew my mind just a little bit more. It’s unfair for me to put so much on an artist’s shoulders, but a history of excellence combined with almost a year’s worth of rumors, waiting, and the occasional single will do that to a project.