St Vincent

I think you’re stretching a bit with that interpretation to be honest, but each to their own.

By that analysis would Masseduction by Diamond Dogs or Station to Station? Not quite hearing it either way.

The examples you gave in your original post (Gary Numan and Bauhaus) very definitely tried to actually sound like Bowie (at different points in his career), at least when they were starting out so I don’t really see the comparison.

Yeah, I dont want to sound like I’m kicking at her too much as there is no doubt she is excellent at what she does and all her albums are “texturally interesting, and beautifully played and produced” but I find her cold, emotionless and somewhat contrived. I think she uses Bowie and Eno era Roxy as her blueprints too much and I guess I’d just like her to be herself for a while.

I’m aware I’ve bought into this analysis a bit myself, but I do think we need to be careful with it.

I think this kind of thing is accepted less from female artists who are still expected to be either straightforwardly confessional singer songwriters or some kind of pop puppet. Men are still being applauded for ‘playing with the art form’ or ‘adopting personas’ whilst women who do similar things are called ‘inauthentic’. You see the same thing all the time in discussions of Lana Del Rey.

True, but Kate Bush does a similar thing and gets lots of plaudits. Same with Pj Harvey.

Fair counter-examples, but I don’t think they invalidate my general point.

Yeah I’m conscious of that, and it’s occurred to me while I’m making it, but I still feel like it (the perceived artifice) is a valid factor.

I’ve seen St Vincent twice live, once with David Byrne and once solo on the self-titled album tour. The solo show kind of put me off her for a good while – I thought there was a real lack of ability for her to connect there, and I’ve felt that a bit with subsequent performances I’ve seen on festivals/TV/whatever (enough to make me think it wasn’t just a bad night).

I’m sure during this debate on here before someone has said something like “maybe you just don’t think she’s any good”, which is a fair point, but my opinion of St Vincent a weird one for me to try and work out. There are some songs of hers I love, but there are also some where something just feels like you can’t quite reach it, like the substance of the song is behind perspex.

I feel reasonably confident in my thoughts about St Vincent (and other female artists) that this is more about her than any latent sexism, but it is a fair thing to bring up in the discussion.

I don’t think we, or @n2d_oven for that matter, actually disagree really - we all see the same thing and bothers all of us a bit, just to different levels.

I don’t think it is ‘artifice’ as such that is the issue, more a sense that things are a bit overly considered and intellectualised. That in itself is a bit problematic because it falls back on an old fashioned rockist view that popular music is somehow innate and improvisational rather than considered and ‘made’ like other art. If you hear it you hear it though and it can get in the way.

Personally I find one thing that helps is just to ignore as much of the hype and discussion and just listen to the music as freshly as possible. I enjoyed Daddy’s Home a lot more than most people because I ignored all the discourse about it and how it was presented (partly by Annie herself). I still maintain that it’s an enjoyable record in itself if you ignore all the nonsense that surrounded it.

This new one seems a lot less freighted with that kind of thing but people are still trying to put it in a box - ‘it’s her rock album!’, ‘it’s her industrial album!’, ‘it’s her back to basics album!’ - but I suppose that is just the way the culture works.

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I have felt exactly this at times though - you express it very well.

Finally found the time to listen to it properly and first impressions are that I absolutely love, love, love this. I’m a proper fanboy so I might not be objective.

What a lovely treat to go from no news of anything to a new album in two months.

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Getting this album tomorrow! :smiley:

Had this on whilst on a run earlier.

Top stuff. I was also a bit put off by how ‘heavy’ the reviews made it sound but it’s sonically great. The second track especially! A lot better than the last LP which didn’t really grab my attention.

Only had one listen so far. I think the opening track really upped my confidence after Daddy’s Home (had its moments, but was largely empty pastiche, and the half-arsed referencing of ‘Us and Them’ on that one track still grates).

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oh yeah ok this fuckin slaps

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Flea and Big Time Nothing are so brilliant.Get an irrepressible urge to sing and do silly dance moves when they hit

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red hot chili peppers 90s GIF

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all her albums have been similarly ‘mannered’ (like, one is called ACTOR) and kind of broadly been about the performance of sincerity and the veneer of it all. That’s fine and dandy for me, sincerity is probably a bit overrated in pop music. It’s just that her surfaces aren’t actually that interesting (to me) and they don’t seem to be masking an interesting comment inside.

The albums like intricate puzzle boxes you spend hours unlocking that yield a corny Christmas cracker joke in the middle. For a while you might be all ‘ah, what an interesting comment, all this work and design…for this…how brilliant’ and then a bit later it’s like ‘oh no there’s nothing is there’. Some will turn around and say ‘no that’s the POINT’ and you just have to leave them to it. There’s definitely been a few songs now about how using media is bad and we’re all really sad actually.

When she spiked that interview on the last album go around, that was more interesting than most of her actual work. Did highlight how much people run interference for her rather than offer some decent critique. More of a point for the ‘do we need album reviews?’ thread though.

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Definitely feel that this applies to a lot of her work.

For me this new album and Masseduction are exceptions - I feel they both speak to me very directly without the ‘veneer’ you describe. I’m aware that some of her more dedicated fans dislike Masseduction and much prefer the early records that do nothing for me, but each to their own.

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Anyone getting a big Smashing Pumpkins vibe from this new album? I never quite got the NIN comparisons (admittedly I’m not hugely familiar with NIN and just felt like some of this album feels a bit like Closer), but it’s really giving a Siamese Dream feel on this listen.

I’m so happy about how much this absolutely dicks on Daddy’s Home

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I love it. I really didn’t get on with Daddy’s Home bar maybe 2-3 tracks at most but she nails the whole record here for me. She seems back on course and now Daddy’s Home feels more like a blip in an otherwise great catalogue as opposed to the start of a downward trend.

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