Heya - was just re-reading my review having played the album again today and noticed your own, which seems to be a response of sorts to mine. To be clear, I've now played the album from start to finish 5 times - I'm not too sure what you mean by 'The Guardian reviewer was spot on because he listened!!!'. I've also played both of the singles numerous times since release (as well as my other favourite tracks off the album) and all the live performances of the material at the fashion show she played, so I consider myself competent enough to make an informed comment!
You have to be careful with the critics. Their views are actually worse than the man in the street's because, not only are they often lacking in real detail (which is natural, given the amount of material they're required to review), they actually have considerable agendas/pressure when writing any review. I wonder how many times Petridis played the album before writing his article - I bet not as many times as I have. I also bet he hasn't played 'Strange Mercy', 'Actor', or 'Marry Me' as much either (or seen her live, as I have...?).
St. Vincent is currently in the midst of major label push - what a surprise that all of a sudden the media are crawling all over her like a rash. Two albums ago, The Guardian's sister-paper, The Observer, barely even gave 'Actor' print room. The album got 3* and the review simply stated:
'From out of Texas via a stint in Sufjan Stevens's band comes Annie Clark, and those with the patience for deft songwriting willl want to wait for her.'
Yes, that's the full review! Meanwhile, fans of St. Vincent knew that the album was actually a bit of a corker, with a lot of great material on it - 'Marrow' doesn't have 1.3m views on youtube by chance - a lot of people loved the damn thing in spite of the comparative lack of PR. Q and NME gave it 3* too, so I'm not just targeting The Guardian...
The reason why this album is getting 5* and is No.3 on the US Amazon Best Seller list is because of the marketing push - simple as.
Not too sure many traditional St. Vincent fans will be a massive fan of Psychopath, by the way - it's far too much like straight-ahead pop...