While I’ve had a passing familiarity with St. Vincent and a handful of her songs, I’ve never heard an entire project from the mostly reclusive artist. That was until she dropped MASSEDUCTION and the enormous amount of buzz behind it made it all but impossible to skip out on this one.
“Sometimes I sit in the smoking section
Hopin’ one rogue spark will land in my direction
And when you stomp me out, I scream and I’ll shout
“Let it happen, let it happen, let it happen.””
So obviously going into this I didn’t have any clue as to what to expect sound wise but somehow it wasn’t this. On it’s surface, MASSEDUCTION sounds like a straight up pop album complete with big soaring hooks and irresistible bounce, the likes that the best pop stars are seemingly able to churn out on the yearly. But, once you get past the surface level and really dig into the material you find something much more delightfully deep and subversive. That’s not to say that her cultural and social commentary is subtle, it’s not, but it is bitingly sharp. It feels akin to another fantastic pop album released earlier this year, Lorde’s Melodrama, in the way she’s seemingly able to simultaneously both elevate and undercut the very genre she’s playing in, and all the while with a grin and a wink firmly in place. Which really comes as no surprise when you find out she worked with Jack Antonoff, who also had a hand in Lorde’s fantastic sophomore effort. Everything about MASSEDUCTION feels effortless and I couldn’t help but get strong Bowie vibes from her, from everything from the music to the project’s aesthetics, and I can’t think of any higher praise to give someone who’s so clearly all about the true ‘art’ of music.
Have you heard MASSEDUCTION? What’d you think about it? Do you think it rivals Lorde’s Melodrama for pop album of the year? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.