St. Vincent Releases Stripped Back Album MassEducation

St. Vincent has released her sixth album, MassEducation, a rework of her previous release, MASSEDUCATION. It is a stunning collection of stories about heartbreak and regret told through raw, cutting vocals and a spellbinding piano performance.

The album artwork is a rare picture of St Vincent, undressed, looking over her shoulder, into a blurred lens. Its vulnerable, insecure and delicate – nothing like the eccentric St Vincent we know and love her to be. The artwork sets the tone for what is to come – an authentic and sincere innocence portrayed by a pained and hurt artist. Upon first listen, it was unclear if she had achieved her goal with this rework but by the second, the listener is memorized, something she always achieves.

The album starts off with ‘Slow disco’ a beautifully intricate song. The lyrics, ‘I’m so glad I came but I can’t wait to leave’ are impossible to forget. In typical fashion, St. Vincent then takes a sharp turn into her quirky alternate universe with ‘Savior’ leading into ‘Masseducation’, ‘Sugar Boy’, and finally, ‘Fear the Future’. All of which are sexy and brass songs. It was what you would expect from her, bold and officious. However, she still manages to leave the listener craving more and she does not disappoint! St. Vincent lures the listener down a dark alley to ‘Smoking Section’ and ‘Los Ageless’, both crowded by angry, ominous and rebellious lyrics, swooping crescendos and high pitches, pouring herself into you with every note.

On ‘New York’, she envelopes the listener, dancing in ears and pumping through veins. St Vincent accompanied by pianist Thomas Bartlett, enchant the listener as though in a dive bar in New York with lyrics like ‘I have lost a hero, I have lost a friend, but for you, darling, I do it all again’. Her bad bitch vibe is forgotten, and this gentle girl seeps through and breaks out of her ferocious persona. The listener is lead to the final destination through ‘Young Lover’, ‘Happy Birthday Johnny’ and ‘Pills’ before finally turning off the engine with ‘Hang On Me’, providing the perfect ending to her tale.

A standout track on this album is ‘New York’ which falls by the wayside on MASSEDUCATION. On Masseducation, St.Vincent has the ability to take the listener back to every heartbreak they’ve ever had and holds their hand through it. Stunning, in the best way possible, this album is so unique and pure. Letting go of her alternate electro pop sound and bringing the listener back to her Jazz roots, reflected in the piano, makes Masseducation St Vincent’s best album to date.

Listen to MassEducation below…

Words by Alice Bolger

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