St. Vincent - The Stranger

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St. Vincent's 2007 album, Marry Me, was one that I just kind of missed. In a year of Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, and Band of Horses, talented Polyphonic Spree member Annie Clark's album flew right by me. But after a few quick listens, I can tell why she garnered such great praise- the woman clearly knows how to make innovative, lush, orchestral music. And her latest, "The Strangers," is no exception.

St+Vincent

With hypnotic (sorry, this has kind of been my buzz-word lately) instrumentals, filled with swirling "ahhs," piano chords, and, at the song's grand conclusion, guitars, "The Strangers" is loaded with powerful noises and sounds that combine to form something great (well, very good). And on top of it all, Clark chants that haunting, memorable lyric: "make the black hole blacker."

As for the crescendo at 2:33, well, there's no other phrase to describe it than the way Stereogum does: "fairy tale woodwinds surrendering to stomping fuzzpedal delirium." It's truly beautiful. This is slated to be the album-opener for St. Vincent's May 5 album, and it really is a great way to kick tbe record off (it's been a good year for album-openers, huh? "In The Flowers," "Hazards of Love," "Lisztomania," Dan Deacon's "Build Voice," and now this).

Clearly a Polyphonic Spree graduate, Clark uses the orchestra and choir to her advantage, but rather than utilizing the joyous anthems of the Spree, "The Strangers" contains dark, creepy melodies that have the same ultimate effect. It's a rewarding song, and one that grows with repeated listens. This should raise excitement for St. Vincent's upcoming album. Are you guys looking forward to it?

[rating:73/100]

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