All Born Screaming by St Vincent album review by Ben Lock for Northern Transmissions


All Born Screaming

St Vincent

St Vincent Returns with an authentically Badass album that is cinematic, innovative and transformative. All Born Screaming evolves with every listen. The artist’s first self-produced record is a stunning and widely dynamic-sounding batch of songs that ebb and flow within her sonic universe.

The introduction to this record sucks you out of reality, where you feel taken from your daily life and put into a landscape of the unknown. The album opener “Hell Is Near” is an immediate instant classic. “Hell Is Near” can feel elusive while being rooted in reality. It is reminiscent of Radiohead’s Infamous LP “Kid A” in that it changes your expectations and immediately grounds you in the world that the artist creates. The track seamlessly transitions into “Reckless,” a track that grows and progresses into a heavy and sporadic section that is one of the most significant moments on the record. The lyrics on this cut are haunting and mystical. “I’ll tear you limb from limb, or I’ll fall in love,” Annie sings with total conviction and bravado. Next is The Wildly dynamic and dancey track “Broken Man,” a song that further evolves this Album in a way that challenges the norms. This song goes way too hard. “Flea” is a rock song. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. It’s an unconventional song with a quiet verse, a loud chorus, and an excellent breakdown section. I mean, what more could you ask for? If you walked into a rehearsal room and there were David Byrne, Bjork, and Nile Roger’s “Big Time Nothing,” it would be the song they would be playing.

The production of this song is one of the best showcases of St Vincent’s freedom as an artist, integrating different musical influences and references to make something unique. There is an immediate change in tone in “Violent Times,” starting with pulsating horns and her beautiful vocal performance. It is a heartfelt song that hits significantly harder, considering that the world is in the midst of very violent times with the conflicts going on in the Middle East.

The emotion continues in “The Powers Out” through this tender ballad filled with beautiful synths and chord changes. The guitar lines at the end wander around the bass and drums with absolute finesse, creating much more emotion for the song. Perfect. And then again, you met with absolute virtuosity with “Sweetest Fruit,” an unpredictable track that blurs the lines between Art Pop and experimental rock. The song features a conventional structure that is as interesting as Unconventional and experimental. On the next track, “So Many Planets,” St Vincent brings a chill and almost reggae vibe to the Album, reminiscent of some of Amy Winehouse’s tracks off Back to Black. The last track and title track, “All Born Screaming,” Brings an optimistic and funky pop vibe to the end of the Album, which carries a strong momentum for over a 6-minute run time. The song carries a similar weight to the rest of the Album while still having a slightly different change in mood. This Album was brilliantly executed and produced masterfully. Well Done.

Pre-order All Born Screaming by St Vincent HERE


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