Album Review: St Vincent – Masseduction

talks about St Vincent’s “best yet” album

Rating: 8/10

St. Vincent is known to be one of the most enigmatic and eccentric artists of today; blending harsh, grungy guitar sounds with the lyrical structure of pop music. Though having an apparent style of her own, St. Vincent has gradually progressed from album to album, shifting focuses and securing her sound. In her newest album, Masseduction, St. Vincent’s style is as cemented as ever, perhaps in part due to her collaboration with Ernie Ball Music Man earlier this year, in which St. Vincent created her own custom-made signature guitar which she used throughout the making of the album.

It can certainly be said that St. Vincent’s music is an acquired taste, yet I think Masseduction is perhaps the most accessible of her albums, partly due to its lyrical and thematic content. Lyrically, Masseduction provides a provocative substance while still retaining poetic style.

Furthermore, St. Vincent bares all to a far greater extent in Masseduction compared to the lyrical subjects of her last albums, as displayed by the first track on the album ‘Hang on Me’.

Compared to previous albums Strange Mercy (2011) and St. Vincent (2015), her newest offering is thematically better structured. Themes of consumerism, seduction, and society’s amorality appear more obviously and strongly in Masseduction — the last song ‘Smoking Section’ encompasses all of these satirical tropes, with its desperate recurring line “it’s not the end”. The sexy and subversive sound of the album is portrayed exceptionally in St. Vincent’s music videos for ‘New York’, ‘Los Ageless’, and ‘Pills’, its bright-neon colour palette exceptionally harmonising with the songs’ harsh abrasive guitar riffs.

Overall, I think St. Vincent’s newest album Masseduction is her best yet, providing a bold comment on society’s values in a harsh yet still inviting way. The album’s variety with energetic songs such as ‘Sugarboy’ and ‘Pills’, and its ballad-like songs such as ‘New York’ will certainly lend itself well to live shows.

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