Most Helpful First | Newest First
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What was the question? Love is the answer,
She's been a part of the Polyphonic Spree's twee orchestra, toured with Sufjan Stevens, and many other bands as well, ranging from the Arcade Fire to Xiu Xiu.
So it wasn't entirely clear what style Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) would embrace in her solo debut, "Marry Me." But she does a brilliant job with what she does choose -- a swirling, multifaceted brand of lush indiepop, crammed with quirky instrumentals and charmingly witty little lyrics. It's absolutely stunning.
It kicks off with "Now Now," a catchy little dulcimer-wrapped tune. Clark sings that she's not a carpet, an atomic bomb, a dog, and that: "You don't mean that say you're sorry/You don't mean that I'll make you sorry..." as the strings and drums rev up. She follows it up with the whimsical "Jesus Saves, I Spend," a distinctively quirky pop tune punctuated by babyish noises, smooth keyboard and solid powerpop riffs.
But the album's tone changes drastically with "Your Lips Are Red," which the Dresden Dolls wouldn't be ashamed off -- tortured violins, plunking cabaret piano, erotic overtones and "cities black from all the ashes in downtown." After that, the album slips down into gentler, more lush pop tunes -- quirky romantic ballads, rainy piano tunes, swirling pop epics, and ends with a couple of springtime anti-folk songs.
The best song: "Paris is Burning," a swaying Weimar-styled mass of horns, synth and strings -- it seems to be from the POV of a slain WWII soldier. "We are waiting on a telegram to give us news of the fall/I am sorry to report dear Paris is burning after all/We have taken to the streets in open rejoice revolting/We are dancing a black waltz, fair Paris is burning after all..."
If you listen carefully, you can hear a few hints of various musical influences in "Marry Me" -- moments where St. Vincent's musical experience is briefly glimpsed. But most of the time, she sounds like Regina Spektor and Feist by way of Arcade Fire -- she has a unique blend of quirky, offbeat instrumentation and lyrics, and lush melodies infused with bossa nova, folk, pop, and a bit of rock.
Of course, that quirkiness could have rendered this album totally twee and irritating. But Clark does a brilliant job wringing catchy melodies studded with odd moments (is she throttling that guitar?), and even though the second half is far quieter and less experimental than the first, it's still a magnificent little experience.
St. Vincent -- who played virtually everything on here -- somehow softens the sputtery bass, drums and electric guitars with a web of gauzy dulcimer, handclaps, synth, xylophone, trickling piano, and occasionally a shifting wall of strings. So much is layered into this that they should sound dense, but instead they sound ethereal and effortless.
And Clark's sweetly powerful voice does the music justice, flipping from joyously wicked to sweetly romantic in a moment, and backing herself with an oddball chorale -- sometimes she sounds like a child, an angel, or a bunch of radio-broadcast imps. And her brilliant songs have their bleak moments -- like the Shakespearean "come sit right here and sleep/while I slip poison in your ear" -- but more often, her focus is on love's sorrows and joys. Mostly joys. "Collect the love that I've been given/build a nest for us to sleep in here..." she sings meditatively.
"Marry Me" is the pop debut that most singers can only dream of -- exquisitely beautiful, alluring and quirky. An absolute gem from start to finish.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant jazzy power pop!,
Yep, that's about the best way I can describe it. Although I could also throw in Zappa-style guitar, Carole King ballad, broadway, James Bond theme tune.
Yes, it's eclectic, as debut CD's often can be, but it's very much Annie Clark, her songs, her instruments and her engaging voice.
I'll resist the easy temptation to compare her to any number of other female artists and instead, I'd say she's a female Andrew Bird is the sense that she is highly musical, mature, witty and hard-edged.
Your Lips Are Red, Paris is Burning and All My Stars Aligned are my current favourites. I love the upfront vocals too.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars elegant, interesting indie,
Gods, it's a complete breath of fresh air to hear an album that's genuinely different and Marry Me is the sort of music that's such a joy to discover. This album is accessible, interesting, beautiful atmospheric, captivating and lots of other nice, positive things. On Your Lips Are Red, the song starts off sounding a little dissonant, the context of which sets up the second part of the track making it sound so much more lush and wonderful; All My Stars Aligned is gorgeous, one of the most beautiful songs (by anyone) with hauntingly sweet vocal arrangements and Annie's voice just lovely; Landmines is similarly lovely, rich, smooth, full-bodied... dip your creamy ear biscuits in; the other tracks are similar only in the use of piano and interesting arrangements, all contributing to a superb album. One reviewer on here likened St Vincent to - excuse my French - Dido! Please do not let that put you off, it's FA like Dido, no, no and thrice no. This is great stuff, not poxy cak. I've heard the term, baroque pop, and Marry Me seems to suit that description - albeit pop in the broadest sense of the term - and if you like Sufjan, Polyphonic Spree, Mercury Rev, Bent, Goldfrapp you may like St Vincent as much as I do. Cheers, Annie, I can't wait to hear more of your stuff.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent debut,
This album is great - the only thing that is preventing me from giving it full marks is the fact that I expected the entire album to sound like the darker first half. The contrast ruins the effect, for me.
The album opens with the outstanding "Now, Now", a soft, feathery song with some beautiful bell-like guitar harmonics and gorgeous vocal harmonies.
This is followed by "Jesus Saves, I spend", a playful pop song with strange baby-like singing added in.
"Your Lips are Red" is an AWESOME song, with dark lyrics, quirky piano and violin lines, and an absolutely stunning middle 8 section ("your skin's so fair, it's not fair...") that contrasts with the rest of the track so perfectly. This track is quintessential St. Vincent - dark and experimental, but with the occassional flash of beauty hidden away.
The title track "Marry Me" is a pretty, playful little love ballad with an absolutely perfect accompaniment. Anyone here know a guy called John? I do; everytime I sing along to this song, I'm serenading John in my head. I guarantee you will do the same.
After the brilliant "Paris is Burning" (dark and atmospheric - my favourite track of the album), the album suddenly slows down dramatically, moving from the upbeat and quirky to the more subtle. It's such a difference, that the latter tracks feel as if they belong on a different album - they wouldn't be out of place on a Dido album.
That's not to say that they are any worse than the first few tracks; "All my Stars Aligned" is an absolutely STUNNING song, with a lush, twinkly piano-based accomapniment and a PERFECT vocal performance.
After a pretty piano solo "We Put A Pearl...", "Landmines" is another gentle, beautiful song with wonderful lyrics.
Unfortunately, I would say that the final two tracks sort of blend in to the background - after the dark opening songs and the beautiful middle songs, the final tracks are just not memorable or interesting enough to be as memorable as the rest of the album.
She has an absolutely perfect voice, and her kooky lyrics make this album so great. A terrific pop album. Annie Clark is a woman whose name you must look out for in the future; I think that she will continue to improve with each album.
5.0 out of 5 stars Something special,
St. Vincent draws on a wide variety of influences - some more apparent than others - but comes out at the end with something unique, and not quite like anything I've ever heard before. "Marry Me" is expressive and highly creative, and there is a beautiful attention to production detail.
This is easily the most inspired and inspiring album I've bought this year, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply the best album of 2007,
My title says it all. I buy a lot of music and I have broad tastes that range from classical to punk, jazz to avant garde. This album, my dear chums, actually seems to encapsulate all of my curious musical peccadillos in one sexy plastic disc.
I love it. I love it. I love it. Every track different. Every track a gem.
As I say, quite simply the best album of 2007.
5.0 out of 5 stars MARRY ME!,
This review is from: Marry Me (Vinyl)
Some say her latter albums are better. Maybe 'Actor', that's a stone cold classic. But I always come back to her magical debut where the tunes are as beautiful as Annie on the album cover, but are mingled with menace, otherworldlyness and flat out genius compositions.
Want a seemingly straight-laced and affected pop song? Check the title song 'Marry Me'. Want Sonic Youth guitars? Wait until the end of the opener 'Now Now'. Want Bossa Nova with a psychos temper? Check 'Human Racing'. Want gorgeous melodies? Listen to 'All My Stars Aligned' and 'The Apocalypse Song'.
So much on offer here. Wonderful eccentric pop music that's more normal than you should know.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars,
Fab thank you
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album.,
This review is from: Marry Me (Vinyl)
Beautiful album, every song a masterpiece, like their creator.
Came in good time, in good shape, would recommend to anyone!
4.0 out of 5 stars Read the signs,
Got this when it came out.
Would have to recommend Now Now, All my stars aligned, and your lips are red.
the other songs are ok but don't lend themselves to repeated listening.
overall it's a good album. the second half is maybe a bit too wishy washy, but you aren't likely to ever hear anything like it anywhere else, and it plays out as really reflective of someone's personality. In this respect it's a very honest album which i like, it's probably also the reason I liked this better than her second album. 7/10
Most Helpful First | Newest First