Top positive review
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Stranger In Strangerland
on 16 July 2009
Ms Clark (aka St Vincent) is an exotic creature and
her new album 'Actor' is an extraordinary confection.
An idiosyncratic composer and quirky performer
of her own uncompromising material.
She possesses a fine voice which never needs to force
itself to attain maximum emotional and dramatic impact.
The eleven songs in this collection run the gamut
from strange to stranger still.
There is real drama in this music. Edgy sonic landscapes;
tangled emotional webs; elusive imagery; grand designs.
Never too far away, none-the-less, lurks a highly refined
and sophisticated pop sensibility.
Ms Clark really does know her way around a good tune.
'The Neighbours' is an absolute riot of a composition.
The sunny vocal performance shines out against a jarring
background of chaos and distortion. The off-kilter instumental
melody at its centre is a perfect little masterstroke.
'Actor Out Of Work' is a stark and bitter slice of mayhem.
The cinemascope vocal harmonies are delightfully spooky.
'Black Rainbow', with its beguiling woodwind arrangement,
confirms evidence of Ms Clarke's inate musicality.
This is writing of the richest, rarest kind.
The dramatic escalation of tension in the coda is truly thrilling.
The scintillating introduction to 'Marrow' evolves into one of
the most remarkable pieces of music I have heard this year.
Brutal and beautiful in equal measure.
'Just The Same but Brand New' is another powerhouse of a song
paving the way for the delicately elusive ending provided
by the tiny two minute wonder 'The Sequel'.
One precious last enigmatic breath and suddenly it's all over.
The quality and complexity of the production never wavers for a moment.
A work of wayward genius. Nothing more - nothing less.