We'll start reviewing vinyls with one of the best releases of 2017. MASSEDUCTION is a tough album to review because of it's varying tracks, but the flow of songs throughout the album makes it an easy listen. "Hang On Me" eases us into St. Vincent's newest release, soothing our ears before the onslaught of craziness that ensues. Right after the first track, we dive into a spiral with "Pills". The song is intense, up-tempo, and pushy. This is how any song about pills should be. There is a significant break halfway through the song that slows it down for the listener.
The third track is a bit of a sleeper for me, but as the titular track there is still something to appreciate. The heavier instrumentals make it sound like a Muse or AC/DC track at times. Yet, it maintains the pop-edge with St. Vincent's vocals. The oddities in her music might be attributed to her time working with Sufjan Stevens. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if there was a large amount of influence from him. After "Masseduction", "Sugarboy" hits us with the craziest vocals and instrumentals on the album. It is extremely catchy and flies by in an instant. I really like the sped-up instrumentals that we get to hear in the following track as well.
Finally, we come to the most catchy and attractive track on the album. "Los Ageless" is a pop dance track, which would surely be fun to watch St. Vincent perform live. Right off the bat, the beat makes you bob your head up and down. Then, the beat drops into the chorus and you can't help but start to move your feet along to the effervescent vocals. The lyrics are simple enough, yet never feel too repetitive. The fade out leads us into a calmer track to follow up the lead hit. "Happy Birthday, Johnny" brings us back down before the B-side of the album. It's a softer, sadder, more nostalgic song than everything preceding it.
It takes a few minutes for the B-side of the album to start rolling, but after a few minutes the tracks start to lift off again. The second half of "Savior" is smooth and groovy, but it's hard to connect to the first half of the track. We then get a ballad that builds up with "New York". The song is a bit preachy, but full of heart and soul. Then comes "Fear The Future", which is hard-hitting and well-placed to bring us back into the electronic/synth aspects of the album. The beat in the background sounds like the backtrack for a rap hit, but works well with St. Vincent's vocal contributions.
As if it is a reflection on the first part of the album, "Young Lover" brings us back into the drug-infused lyrics of St. Vincent. Drugs and pills seem to be a large theme on MASSEDUCTION. The track opens up to a loud sound and St. Vincent's vocals soar higher than ever as she hits high notes that we hardly hear from big pop artists. The album closes with two slower songs. "Slow Disco" has some really nice string instrumentals, which are blissful in their accompaniment. The deep cello addition later in the song creates a full soundscape of low and high-range instruments. To close the album, we get to hear "Smoking Section". This track is very Sufjan Stevens-esque. It is poetic, calm, and builds up into something different than how it starts. It's a fantastic close to an album that balances between chaos and smooth poetry.
Favorite Tracks: "Hang On Me", "Pills", "Sugarboy", "Los Ageless", "Young Lover", "Smoking Section"
Least Favorite Tracks: "Masseduction", "Savior", "Fear The Future"