This past Friday the 13th, St. Vincent finally graced us with her 5th studio album. Entitled, Masseduction (and not, “Mass-education,” like most people have mistakenly called it), listeners are confronted with the juxtaposition of the artificiali
ty of electronic sounds and effects along with brutally raw and honest lyrics. While this is her first pop album, the LP still features the characteristically disturbing qualities that St. Vincent is known for adding to her melodic songs.
The first track features lyrics that aligns the narrator with the listener by constantly repeating the phrase “You and me.” The tone is set, because the rest of the album feels as if St. Vincent is talking solely to you like a close friend by revealing intimate details about her life.
We see this pattern continue through “Pills,” where Cara Delevigne is featured on the chorus
reminiscent of a hackneyed advertisement jingle. The song conveys a brief period where the
musician struggled with her mental health and took to utilizing pills in the hopes that they would
provide some relief. When this song was published as her 3rd single, I must admit that it was not
my cup of tea on the first take. However, its chorus is inevitably catchy, and I soon came to
appreciate the unique satire and silliness it provided.
Moving to the next song, the title track is probably my favorite one, with its short and bright
imagery, catchy chorus, and thesis for the album. The fifth track, “Los Ageless,” takes us to a futuristic Los Angeles where plastic surgery and immortality are ridiculously emphasized in the lyrics
and music video alike. Here, we are introduced to the person that Annie Clark, the musician, is infatuated with, presumably Cara Delevigne.
“Happy Birthday Johnny,” one of the shortest tracks on the album, is probably the most poignant. People have assumed that this is the same Johnny we were introduced to in St. Vincent’s previous album in the song, “Prince Johnny.” The same characteristics of tragedy and self-destruction are mirrored in these two songs.The song,“Savior,”reveals more of St. Vincent’s sexual side through her descriptions of kinksand role-playing experiences with her lover.
The rest of the album goes on to illustrate St. Vincent’s infatuation with her lover that most
people have speculated to be Cara Delevigne. The song, “New York,” talks about the longing to
be reunited with her lover once more. “Young Lover” talks about having to deal with her lover’s dangerous drug addiction. “Slow Disco” talks about slow dancing and having to face the
inevitable parting of the couple.
Overall, St. Vincent has released a highly intimate and personal album with fun, electronic beats.
While it does take some getting used to, one must appreciate the that Annie Clark has done to
cultivate such a unique sound, even at her fifth album. It will be hard to figure out how
this album ranks between her past albums, but it still stands as a beautiful piece of work. I
give this album an A.