Annie Clark Gets Into Her Role

noah | May 5, 2009 10:00 am

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to Actor, the second full-length by St. Vincent: • “Robert Fripp and Yo La Tengo are some of Clark’s debts, but the imprint is most convincingly her own: a voice, a piano, haunting melodies, flights of lyrical fancy, a born observer/outsider’s detached disdain. Unquestionably, it’s hard going. Your reward? Clark’s second masterpiece.” [Dan Cairns, Times Of London] • “Acting, of course, is a lot more than just lying and pretending. It’s about inhabiting characters, being able to fill in subtext with cadence and gesture, and having the empathy required to understand the motivations and actions of the person being portrayed. With that in mind, the album is perfectly titled, as Actor proves St. Vincent as an artist capable of crafting believable, complicated characters with compassion, insight, and exacting skill.” [Matthew Perpetua, Pitchfork] • “She’s fixated on the fragile, the physical (coffee cups, kitchen windows, ashtrays, bones, teeth) and the existential (‘How can Monday be alright, then on Tuesday lose my mind?’ she pleads on ‘The Neighbors’). Thankfully, despite Clark’s maddening proclivity to always rip it up and start again, she never considers her own music so precious.” [Rachael Maddux, Paste] • “Actor… performs complicated moves that reward with multiple listens. Like [Bill] Callahan says of Prince, ‘And when it’s all complete/ He feels like a hunter on the street.’ Wouldn’t be surprised if Clark did, too.” [Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman]