The Student News Site of West Haven High School

The Rostrum

The Student News Site of West Haven High School

The Rostrum

The Student News Site of West Haven High School

The Rostrum

    Connor’s Coffee Shop: St. Vincent Review


    Welcome, welcome faithful readers. Sorry for the hiatus, your favorite music reviewer (besides Fantano) was a little bit busy (not unlike the aforementioned Fantano). I don’t want to hold you from what you seek, so I am just going to jump right into this review of today’s album:

    Marry Me – St. Vincent


    Firstly, who is St. Vincent? For starters, her real name is Anne Clark, and she is from Oklahoma. St. Vincent is a lot of things. However, “boring” is certainly something she is not. Just one listen to her music will show just how unique her music, and more importantly, how unique she is. A lot of her music sounds quite different from the other. For instance, a lot of her later music is more electronic and synth based than “Marry Me,” which is more orchestral. Really putting the “Progressive” in “Progressive Rock”, huh? I mean, as soon as you start listening to this album you are gently brought in with these beautiful plucked harmonics and then suddenly the instruments come in. At that point you are trying to wrap your head around the beat. There are some seriously odd time signatures on this album (A common trope in the genre, of course) and it leaves you with some confusion. That is until you realize that theres no use in trying to understand it. Once you’re into the second song, it’s perfectly clear that St. Vincent is clearly doing whatever she wants. But damn is she doing it good.

    I would really love to focus on one song specifically; that song being “Paris Is Burning”. The reason that I’d like to focus on that one in particular is because I feel that it represents the album perfectly as a whole. Sound-wise and lyric-wise.

    So, “Paris Is Burning”. Most of St. Vincent’s songs have 2 meanings; one metaphorical, and one literal. This one is no different. The song discusses a war through the eyes of a soldier. It discusses the wreckage of Paris and how their beautiful city has been turned to ashes. It has this marvelous and powerful instrumental consisting of instruments that give the song a baroque feel to it. It contains this marching and driven drum track, overrun by these looming horns that give a sense of doom. When the chorus hits, there are these striking string that compliments the vocals just as well as the lyrics do.

    Which of course leads me to the complexity of the lyrics. This song is accompanied by these incredibly poetic lyrics that really bring you right into the moment. I’d love to highlight that in the song, right after she sings “We are dancing a black waltz, fair Paris is burning after all” the song’s time signature turns from 4/4 to 3/4, which is the time signature that a waltz is in. This tactic of the music following what the lyrics are saying is one of my favorite things in songs. For instance, one of the most famous songs in the world, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, does exactly that. When Cohen sings “It goes like this; the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, and the major lift” the chord progression follows by going from F – G – A Minor – F. Which, in the key of C major, F – G is IV – V, followed by the minor fall which is the chord going to A Minor, and the major lift which brings it back to F. Genius stuff right there.

    Overall, this song really represents the album fully. And this album is one of the best examples of St. Vincents artistic, psychedelic, and unique talent that is her song.



    Vocals: 10/10

    St. Vincent’s voice is really something to marvel at. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also so unbelievably unique. It’s like a mix of opera and Kate Bush.

    Guitar: 8/10

    While I wouldn’t particularly say that the guitar was the best part of the album, it is certainly as complex and wonderful as the rest of the instruments on this album. All of the parts are so complex that you sometimes cannot wrap your head around them.

    Bass: 8/10

    The bass is very interesting on this album. It isn’t in the foreground most of the time, but if you spend some time to really focus on the bass parts I’m sure you’d be pleasantly surprised at how great it is.

    Drums: 10/10

    The drums are just so complex and seem to drive these songs into directions that you couldn’t possibly expect.

    Lyrics: 10/10

    I mean, what else is there to say other than the lyrics on these songs accompany the music perfectly. The cadence in which all of these lyrics are said drive this point even further.

    Uniqueness: 10/10

    If you really want to see me once again talk about how unique this album is, I recommend you re-read this article. Kidding, of course, but seriously this album is like nothing I have every experienced before. The instrumentation, the violins, the trumpets, the orchestra, timpanis and triangles and synths! It’s all so interesting.

    Overall Score: 9/10

    Listen to this album with a cup of tea, staring out of a window while the sunrises. And most importantly, wear headphones while listening to this album. You need those to fully experience this album.

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    All The Rostrum Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *