.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/a5bee40fcc83f2d206776cf0832e287ed7dd0c60.jpg Strange Mercy

St. Vincent

Strange Mercy

4AD
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
September 13, 2011

You rarely know what's coming next in a St. Vincent song - an angelic faux-Forties Hollywood musical chorus, a stumbling tap-dance beat, a searing electronic noise burst. Annie Clark's third LP under the moniker is as busily inventive as ever. But it's also hookier, sexier, more unhinged. The title of "Chloe in the Afternoon" riffs off a landmark of French New Wave cinema, but the song is no chin-scratch dissertation; it's full of bloodletting guitar, heavy-breathing vocals and a "black lacquered horsehair whip." (You go, ­Venus in Furs!) On "Surgeon" Clark disturbingly purrs "come cut me open" before a scalded jazz-funk jam kicks in. Like many of the year's most ambitious records - see Bon Iver, Gang Gang Dance - it repurposes Eighties analog synth textures for a hyperdigital era. Strange Mercy is visceral, vivid stuff: When Clark announces, amid a Roxy Music-style glam racket, that she's seen the northern lights ("Northern Lights"), you'll swear you can see them too.

Listen to "Surgeon":

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Fantasy”

    Mariah Carey | 1995

    Serendipity stuck when Mariah Carey rediscovered the glitchy Tom Tom Club hook, a sample of which is the heart of this upbeat slice of dance pop. "I had the melody idea for 'Fantasy' and I was listening to the radio and heard 'Genius of Love,' and I hadn't heard it in a long time," Carey said. "It reminded me of growing up and listening to the radio and that feeling the song gave me seemed to go with the melody and basic idea I had for 'Fantasy.' I initially told [co-writer] Dave Hall about the idea, and we did it. We called up the Tom Tom Club and they were really into it."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com