- Strange Mercy

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
CRITIC SCORE
87
Based on 27 reviews
2011 Rank: #2 / 860
USER SCORE
85
Based on
265 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Amazon
iTunes
Apple Music
Spotify

CRITIC REVIEWS

91
A.V. Club

Engaging the darkness (rather than just acknowledging it) adds some flesh-and-blood humanity to an artist whose excellent output has nonetheless been marked by cold distance.

91
Entertainment Weekly
Annie Clark’s third album luxuriates in sound — blurps and gurgles and beats and textures that surround her floaty prog-pop songs. It’s cerebral and a little chilly, but also full of musical surprises.
90
Consequence of Sound

Strange Mercy achieves that sweeping goal, delivering on its promises, challenging thematically and intellectually, while also entertaining.

90
PopMatters

On Strange Mercy, Clark continues to sharpen and finetune her act, coming off bolder in her aesthetic, yet more immediate and intimate as a performer.

90
Pitchfork

On Strange Mercy, she ditches Marry Me's naivety and Actor's ostentatious arrangements, boosts the inventive guitar playing, and ends up with her most potent and cathartic release yet.

90
Drowned in Sound

This is an album that rockets toward you, ricochets through your emotions and finally decides to lay you down on the floor, headphones on, tumbling around like a blissed-out cat in the sun.

90
NME

It’s this combination of unforced sonic gorgeousness and a refusal to settle for the obvious that puts Clark in a field of her own, and makes for a strange and wonderful record that shows no mercy in blowing your mind.

90
Under The Radar

Where Clark previously impressed through the sheer audacity of her strengths as a songwriter and arranger, here she has stopped trying to impress and simply made an album assembled through feel and intuition, and, taken as a whole, it feels perfect.

90
American Songwriter

Experimental music never sounded like this though. Like St. Vincent’s previous work, Strange Mercy is fresh and punctuated with purpose. Its tangents never evade the listener but surprise and delight.

86
Beats Per Minute

Clark is more divulgent of her true personal feelings than we’ve come to expect, and she’s created a dense collection of songs to reflect this atmosphere.

80
musicOMH

It may not be leaps and bounds ahead of previous St Vincent releases, but this is a rich and multi-faceted album to pay close attention to.

80
AllMusic

Full of great lyrics and great playing, Strange Mercy is St. Vincent's most reflective and most audacious album to date, and Clark remains as delicately uncompromising an artist as ever.

80
Slant Magazine

Clark’s bare, sedate St. Vincent persona is the highlight of Strange Mercy, reflecting all the terror, beauty, and allure of her music more effectively than any cantakerous narrator could muster.

SiberianBreaks
83
This album really goes to show how interesting of a genre art pop is. The noisey guitars with the abstract sounding synths along with accessible pop melodies make for some fantastic songs that stick in your head. Annie Clark does a great job with making abstract music that's surprisingly easy to get into.

Favourite tracks: Cruel, Neutered Fruit, Dilettante
mikeisnowonfire
99
As close to perfection as you can come in the moment. Beautiful songs of carelessness and whimsical stories dart back and forth in between beautiful distortion and unique and challenging guitar riffs. Annie Clark made a pop rock album you could smoke a joint to and have your parents listen to that loved that 60's scuzz.
Space Vacation
90
It's been awhile since I last sat and truly soaked in this album; and I've listened to a lot of albums since, and really learned a great deal... and after so much time Strange Mercy has emerged so much more vivid and so much more alive than I had remembered.
75
Fav Tracks: Cruel , Surgeon , Dilettante
JustAReflektor
92
Uniqueness may be its best quality. I've never heard a record that sounded remotley like this.
More user reviews
Destroyer - Kaputt

Destroyer

Kaputt

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend

Modern Vampires of the City

Radiohead - In Rainbows

Radiohead

In Rainbows

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

Animal Collective

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kanye West

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Tame Impala - Lonerism

Tame Impala

Lonerism

James Blake - James Blake

James Blake

James Blake

Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness

Julia Holter

Have You in My Wilderness

DETAILS

September 13, 2011 / Release Date
LP / Format
4AD / Label
Annie Clark, John Congleton / Producer
Indie Pop, Art Pop / Genres
Tags
END OF YEAR LISTS
# 8 - A.V. Club
# 25 - Amazon
# 28 - American Songwriter
# 12 - Cokemachineglow
# 1 - Consequence of Sound
# 7 - DIY
# 11 - Drowned in Sound
# 9 - musicOMH
# 7 - NME
# 5 - No Ripcord
# 8 - Obscure Sound
# 1 - One Thirty BPM
# 11 - Paste
# 12 - Pazz and Jop
# 11 - Pitchfork
# 7 - PopMatters
# 14 - Prefix
# 6 - Pretty Much Amazing
# 8 - Q Magazine
# 26 - Rolling Stone
# 5 - Slant
# 34 - SPIN
# 17 - Spinner
# 32 - Stereogum
# 35 - The Fly
# 18 - The Guardian
# 43 - Tiny Mix Tapes
# 43 - Uncut
# 1 - Under the Radar
Track List
  1. Chloe in the Afternoon 
  2. Cruel 
  3. Cheerleader 
  4. Surgeon 
  5. Northern Lights 
  6. Strange Mercy 
  7. Neutered Fruit 
  8. Champagne Year 
  9. Dilettante 
  10. Hysterical Strength 
  11. Year of the Tiger