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Old 09-02-2011, 12:17 PM   #61
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Early listens don't yield a whole lot, but I can confidently say that this is a quality piece of work on the first listen. The baroque arrangements, the lovely interludes tucked away within each "song" that could be heard during Actor are scarce here, replaced by a lot of grit and electronic buzz. If anything, the tracks feel more fluid and unpredictable than ever though, often eschewing choruses (a good idea for her; they've never been her strong suit, and a couple of tracks still feature her chanting the song's title over and over and calling it a chorus) for passages that highlight her talent for arrangement as well as her chops as a guitarist, which are indeed confirmed at this point.

Favorite songs are difficult to pick out but (sadly) the songs we had already heard are probably the best; Cruel, Surgeon and Year of the Tiger are remarkable. There are a bunch of songs that still wander for me at this point, but all of them feature remarkable individual passages.

Though comparing one artist's creative path to another is usually inane and unhelpful, I would say this album is more Age of Adz than Illinois. Thankfully, she has a better grasp on economy than Sufjan does, because at 40 minutes I could easily play this over and over.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:35 PM   #62
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Just to warn, spoilers don't do anything when you're viewing the previews for posts before you go into them. So imps will still see the first line or so of what people post. At least that's what happens on an iphone.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:58 PM   #63
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I'll spend the first half of my spoilers ranting about the Cowboys and swooncore then.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:49 PM   #64
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The album is streaming over at NPR's "First Listen" right now. I gave it a careful listen, but all I will say for now is that "Chloe in the Afternoon" is one of the best song titles of the year.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:46 AM   #65
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See, now I'm faced with a real dilemma. But considering my LP is likely to arrive sometime this week, I think I'll sit this one out.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:22 PM   #66
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Ah, just got my shipment confirmation. Hurry up already.

There's a nice interview on Pitchfork today, if you dig.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:15 PM   #67
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Having listened to a few tracks from this album again, I need to say that the vocals on this thing have evolved considerably from Actor. She demonstrates some serious range and innovation throughout the album, and I really applaud her for that.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:27 PM   #68
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Freakin' Beggars sent me the Girls LP rather than St. Vincent's by mistake. I'd rather keep both.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:38 PM   #69
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Bummer. Call them. That's happened to me before, and I just kept the other one with no repercussions.

Hoping mine gets here tomorrow. I'm ready to hear this already.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:59 PM   #70
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Thanks - glad to know that they've corrected this sort of problem quickly in the past. I sent an email and will call tomorrow if there's a problem. I was really looking forward to hearing this when I saw that the package had arrived. Oh well.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:00 PM   #71
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For what it's worth, my incident wasn't with Beggars. But godspeed anyway.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:34 AM   #72
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You were right, Impy. They let me keep the Girls album and will send me Strange Mercy again. Cool deal.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:53 AM   #73
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Hey Imps:

St. Vincent: Strange Mercy < PopMatters
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:05 AM   #74
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Hype. Not gonna read that quite yet aince I most likely get to finally hear this today. Holy smokes. But thanks for passing it along.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:06 AM   #75
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I didn't realize it and Girls were both out this week. I may have to stop by the record store tomorrow.
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