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Famous features on St. Vincent’s newest album

St.+Vincent%E2%80%99s+seventh+studio+album%2C+%E2%80%9CAll+Born+Screaming%2C%E2%80%9D+features+contributions+from+Dave+Grohl%2C+Cate+Le+Bon%2C+Josh+Freese%2C+David+Ralicke+and+many+more.
Courtesy of Virgin Music Group
St. Vincent’s seventh studio album, “All Born Screaming,” features contributions from Dave Grohl, Cate Le Bon, Josh Freese, David Ralicke and many more.

4.5 out of 5.0 stars
On April 26, Annie Clark, more widely known as St. Vincent, released her seventh studio album, “All Born Screaming.” The musician has made a name for herself since leaving alternative indie artist Sufjan Stevens’ touring band in 2006. The multi-talented artist took a new step with this album, making it her debut as a producer. Clark’s musical abilities are once again put on display as she plays the electric piano, bass, acoustic guitar, 12string guitar, vocals and more. 

In this album, Clark collaborated with Dave Grohl, Cate Le Bon and many other artists who helped the album shine. The album features ten tracks, including three singles; “Broken Man,” “Flea” and “Big Time Nothing.” The album is a musical continuation of the 2020 film, “The Nowhere Inn,” a psychological thriller-comedy mockumentary written by and starring Clark

In an interview with NME, Clark shared the meaning behind the album’s title, “All Born Screaming” saying;  “We’re all born in some ways against our will. But at the same time, if you’re born screaming, it’s a great sign – it’s a sign you’re alive. We’re all born in protest, so screaming is what it means to be alive.” 

The album opens with “Hell Is Near,” a dark bass drum and choir heavy song that plays with the idea that death is coming to all. It opens with heavy drums and Clark’s voice layered to give it a religious or choral sound. The lyrics in this song are lost to the reverb a little bit, but Clark’s vocal skills are still on display, as well as her instrumental abilities. The song ends with Clark repeating the words “Give it all away, you give it all away / ‘Cause the whole world’s watching you.” The track itself, and this repeated lyric, is shrouded in mystery since there is no clear answer to who she is talking to and what the listener is supposed to do. What is the listener supposed to do or “give?” This theme of vague life lessons is displayed in many of the other songs as well like in “Broken Man.”

Broken Man” is one of the singles off of the album and it features rock icon Dave Grohl on the drums. The song is filled with a very heavy and strong electric guitar, as well as Grohl’s iconic percussional sound. This song is one of the most addicting tracks from the album, which comes as a surprise as it is so widely different from Clarks previous discography. The song slowly unravels from a laid back rock song to an explosive climax that is focused around the percussion. The beginning of the track almost feels like Clark is counting toward the climax, with a “ticktock” sound lingering in the background of the song. Throughout the song, a “broken man” is referred to, but who is the man? Clark has said before that she believes in gender fluidity and with the chorus saying; “And what are you looking at? / Like you’ve never seen a broken man,” the audience can be led to believe that Clark is identifying as the broken man or that she is bending gender stereotypes by presenting as very feminine, but feeling more masculine as a person. 

The final track on the album, “All Born Screaming,” features Cate Le Bon. It starts as a very bright shag style song that transitions into a darker synthesized piece after the second verse and chorus. As the shag aesthetic drops out, the bass drums and synths that are sprinkled around other tracks on the album fade into the instrumental. As the synths get heavier, the chorus begins to chant “We’re all born screaming” over and over again, reminding the audience that “we’re all born screaming.” It’s weird and unconventional, but is really one of the best on the album.

“All Born Screaming” is a very cohesive album. It brilliantly exhibits the mind of St. Vincent as an artist and singer. As the album progresses, from “Hell Is Near” to “All Born Screaming,” the listener can follow a life in reverse order, acting as an observer as Clark describes the feelings through the lyrics. 

The album as a whole is a compound of all of her past eras and genres, but is also a window into a plethora of new genres for Clark to successfully produce music in. The songs are very easy to enjoy and are versatile, acting as songs that one can either listen to in depth, or have on in the background. Clark’s breathy vocals, and the production are definitely the highlights of the album. Unfortunately for St. Vincent fans, the album is pretty short with a 41-minute run-time and only ten songs. Yet, the album is definitely one to listen to.

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