St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
CRITIC SCORE
87
Based on 26 reviews
2011 Rank: #2 / 786
USER SCORE
86
Based on
197 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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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.

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.

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User Reviews
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.
JustAReflektor
92
Uniqueness may be its best quality. I've never heard a record that sounded remotley like this.
NR
Surgeon is a masterpiece
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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
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