When St. Vincent took from Disney animated films

When St. Vincent took from Disney animated films

Recent news reports that last week St. Vincent released his seventh album “All Born Screaming” (read the review here). Annie Clark, this is the name registered in the registry office of Tulsa (Oklahoma) where she was born 41 years ago, is today one of the most successful and vital musicians on the current world pop-rock scene. Her recording career began in 2007 with “Marry Me”which was followed, on 4 May 2009, “Actor”, a record that turns 15 today. We take this opportunity to bring to your attention the review of that second album by St. Vincent written for us by Marco Jeannin.

“Actor”, the second album by Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, is an excellent album with a strongly cinematic flavor and great balance and compactness, so much so that it makes you think you are even dealing with a concept. Well, more or less the gist of the review could be summed up in this sentence. It could if it weren't for the fact that the really interesting part comes just now, and believe it or not, for once it's all thanks to how Annie Clark came to conceive an album like this before even getting into specific listening.

As I was saying, “Actor” is a very cinematic album, and not only for the quite explicit title, but above all for its construction. Let's take the setlist: the album opens with the presentation of the characters: “The strangers” and “The neighbors“. It features a central part, “Actor out of work” and “Laughing with a mouth full of blood” which perfectly embody the development of the plot and the birth of the conflict and lead to the inevitable resolution, “The bed” and “The party”. There is even room for a possible new chapter in the story: “The sequel”.

Two years after her excellent debut “Marry Me”, Annie Clark needed new ideas. And they arrived directly from years of cinema history, in particular Disney animated films, made up of princesses and knights, enchanted worlds and talking animals. Musically speaking, the girl from Tulsa confirms what was good up until now, offering a very soft indie pop often contaminated by electronic and folk elements that forcefully refer to the production of Air as much as to our local Cristina Donà and My Brightest Diamond.

Although it lacks a real single (obviously there is, but you can't see it), the album is endowed with a strength given by the compactness of an admirably delicate and cohesive sound that makes prolonged and non-fragmentary listening necessary.

It's difficult to fully appreciate it by listening to it in pieces, there is no first and second half. Standing out above all are the aggressive “Actor out of work” (here is the single.) and the beautiful and dark “Marrow”, a perfect synthesis of fairy tale and electronics embellished with a porcelain voice that seems to belong to the princess of the moment. St. Vincent puts his face to it (already from the cover), loading it with personality and intimacy in a record that allows you to get to the bottom of the head of whoever thought of it and put it into action.

Wonderful conclusion with the splendid and epic “The party”, very Decemberists last period, and with the almost hypnotic “Just the same but brand new”, a magic formula transformed into sound. It seems that the past spent opening concerts for half the world, from the National to Sufjan Steven, passing through the Poliphonic Spree, has made Annie Clark able to take the best from every sound encountered on her path, centrifuge it and present it again in a very personal way . All for the benefit of those who know how to appreciate such a delicate complexity that it captivates just like when, as children, we lost ourselves blissfully in fairy tales told before going to bed.