St. Vincent - 'MassEducation'

7/10

When St. Vincent released 'MASSEDUCTION' last year, we were not only blown away by the quality of it, but felt that she had fully embraced her place in the world by unveiling a stunning collection of heart-wrenching and satirical singles that saw her reach her full songwriting potential. Now almost a year to the day later, she has returned with 'MassEducation', a reworked release that sees all of her original tracks from the last record stripped back and performed only on piano, making this not only a far more intimate collection but really brings out the emotive strength of her compositions and vocals in the process.

With a tracklist that almost runs in reverse from 'MASSEDUCTION', frontwoman Annie Clark has used this opportunity to completely reinvent herself as a more swooning and impassioned individual. By removing all production value and leaving her with nothing more than a piano, she is able to let her music fully focus on her lyrics, which works better than you would think. While the idea of stripping back her music makes an impact on much of this release, you do occasionally find yourself comparing the styles of both versions and coming to the consensus that while she has released an incredible new album, some of the tracks suit this procedure better than others.

Either way, 'MassEducation' delivers a wonderfully progressive angle to her most proficient material to date. If anything, it has helped showcase her beautifully tortured voice even more than anything we have heard from her before, and almost transforms her as this haunted yet sultry diva that accentuates her dark wit even further.

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