St Vincent: Daddy’s Home review – a compelling family affair

nnie “St Vincent” Clark may exaggerate the detail, tell oblique stories or get a little carried away in the dressing-up box, but her work is always packed with emotional veracity. One of Clark’s reputations – for hiding her truths behind elaborate personae – is a little undeserved.

Over the course of five albums, all increasingly assured, St Vincent has often laid her world perfectly bare. Young Lover, from her last high-concept, hot-pink tour de force, Masseduction (2017), found Clark’s then-significant other in a bathtub in Paris, unconscious. The song felt like reportage; at the time, Clark was dating a supermodel. Her howl of pain was visceral. “Wake up young lover, I thought you were dying!”

여기, on her looser, 70s-inspired sixth album, wide of lapel, bleary eyes hidden behind oversized shades, St Vincent contemplates parenthood. To an accompaniment of humming Wurlitzer organ, horns and soulful backing vocals, the musician puts her worst possible self forward for examination on My Baby Wants a Baby – the one that plays “guitar all day” and microwaves every meal; the one that might not be there all the time, like her own daddy wasn’t.

She cuts to the heart of every female creative’s deepest fear: being kept from the work by the pram in the hall. Soon, Clark is spiralling. She won’t have any streets named after her because she won’t have written any symphonies. 을 더한, what would that baby grow up to say? “I got your eyes and your mistakes.”

Torment is never far away in her songs. “You got to/ Pay your way in/ Pain!” snarls this excellent album’s moist and funky lead single. A great many currencies are accepted – and Clark has a lot of different notes in her purse. She is pitch-dark, and wry with it. “I’ll take you down” warns the squelchy Down. On The Laughing Man she notes: “If life’s a joke, then I’m dying laughing.”

Daddy’s Home (out next Friday) may not be all about intergenerational angst – daddies, babies. But there is enough of it here for Clark to have titled her album after her father’s release from prison. Sent down for a decade for fraud, his absence weighed hard on his family (“You did some time, I did some time too,” she reflects), and never more so than when the Clarks’ situation became the stuff of Daily Mail exposé.

St Vincent has not had the best time with the press historically – from the muck-raking tabloids down to jobbing music journalists. In the run-up to Masseduction, she staged interviews in a kind of pink womb where she played pre-recorded answers to questions she deemed boring. Two weeks ago, she requested that an interview be withdrawn from publication, resulting in debate about the ethics of artist censure. If that episode doesn’t reflect well on Clark, it should be contextualised by the turbo-charged efforts of so many other artists to micro-manage their own narratives (Beyoncé, Jack White, Madonna et al).

And if that game of three-dimensional chess is set to one side – you can’t help but wonder if St Vincent might be better off dropping her next album, folding her arms and maintaining a Trappist silence – what’s left is a warm, rich, soulful record in which her love for the dirty old New York of the 70s looms large.

Candy Darling, the Warhol heroine hymned by Lou Reed, gets her own love song, scented with “bodega roses”. Funk and soul replace more familiar recent St Vincent tropes – the edgy synth-rock of Masseduction, 그만큼 gnarly prog-pop of the self-titled St Vincent (2014). 여전히, the attention to detail in the production is inspired. Jack Antonoff co-produces alongside Clark, throwing in call-and-response interludes, electric sitar, flutes and lap steel. Kenya Hathaway – daughter of soul great Donny Hathaway – is one of the backing vocalists throughout.

As a brilliant guitarist, able to trot out complex figures while wearing high heels, Clark’s work can be show-offy and forbidding – the source of another of this artist’s problematic reputations. But here, her funky shrieks and howls of suffering are offset by a backdrop of mellowness; there’s a strung-out quality on show on The Melting of the Sun, which also references Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. This is a record of bleary mornings (Down and Out Downtown), of “benzo beauty queens”; one where, like Lana Del Rey, St Vincent is keen to pay her dues to the truth-telling women of Laurel Canyon and beyond. It does nothing but enhance her reputation.

Daddy’s Home 에 출시된다 14 할 수있다

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