Headphones: St. Vincent's 'MASSEDUCATION' is Undefinable
St. Vincent - "MASSEDUCATION":
"I can't turn me off what turns me on"
St. Vincent repeats these lyrics on the title track of MASSEDUCTION, her fifth studio album. St. Vincent, since her debut in 2007, has been intriguing and incredibly unique. Her effortless ability to bend genres, shape-shift her appearance and make artsy, yet catchy pop music, is taken to the nth degree on this record.
On this album, perhaps St. Vincent's poppiest to date, she goes full-pop. But even St. Vincent making pop music is more complicated than that. It's a pop album that defies pop-tones, subjects and characteristics. It's more of a critique of the genre. St. Vincent cuts up the basics of pop music yet still makes music to dance to.
"Los Ageless" is the single from the album and it's singularly the most danceable track on the album. However, the lyrics, stand apart as hyper-criticisms of the market that might find pop music their jams. "How could anyone have you? / How could anyone have you and lose you? / How could anyone have you and lose you and not lose their mind?" The song is impeccable and St. Vincent at her most sarcastic and freshest form.
"New York" is a track that cuts down to the core of what it is to be alone in a big city. "You're the only motherfucker in the city that can handle me." Vincent soulfully sings, sounding like Lady Gaga. It's a sad song that somehow sounds optimistic, a trait St. Vincent masters on this album.
The most vintage St. Vincent track on this album, sounds like a little bit of old and a little bit of new. "Fear the Future" centers around St. Vincent's impeccable and soaring guitar bombs and her velvety voice. On top of all of this, there is a churning and heavy production track laid down by Drake-favored producer Sounwave. The song is beautiful and bruising at the same time.
St. Vincent is one of those musicians that will be compared to David Bowie for numerous reasons. Whether it be her changing styles and influences, or her ever evolving style and appearance, or maybe her unbelievable creativity in her music. No matter what it is, the comparisons are warranted. This is perhaps her "Let's Dance" in comparison to Bowie.
On MASSEDUCATION, St. Vincent paints a picture, abstract and colorfully complex. She leaves it up to you to derive your meaning. Is is "Mass Education," "Mass Seduction," "My Seducation" or anything else. The definitions are ubiquitous, like the artist.
Single of the Week
DJ Cummberbund- "Hey Trump": Ok, so this might not be a single. You can't find this on Spotify or Apple Music. It's pretty niche. But I will tell you this, whatever you thought of that Eminem freestyle, whether you thought it was bold and brave or unbelievably cringeworthy- maybe both, this remix solves everything.
DJ Cummberbund notoriously created this incredible mashup of Foo Fighter's "The Pretender" and Rick James' "Super Freak." This mashup of Em's freestyle and Rage Against the Machine's "Bulls on Parade" is an equsite example of creativity and awesomeness. And for me, it makes the thing actually listenable.
Music Videos of the Week
Julien Baker- "Turn Out the Lights": There's just something about this video, and this song. I mean, Julien Baker's music always gets me right in the feels, but the drama and build-up of this video is something else. When she finally busts into that big, epic chorus, and the video bursts into flames, I get chills down my spine. If you're in the mood for a good cry, check out this video.
First Aid Kit- "It's a Shame": This is just a very well done music video. It's a practice in excellent technique, and I have absolutely no idea how the directors got these two scenes lined up so perfected. It's pretty awesome watching how some people have amazing days, and others terrible ones, only to end up right where they need to be at the end of it.
Not to mention, that rain scene, damn. That's good stuff right there. And the song is pretty amazing at the same time. So, let's hope you have a right-side day, and not a left-side day.