My initial journey into St. Vincent AKA Annie Clark's art-pop wonderland began and ended with her self titled record a couple months ago. While it had some good songs like Birth in Reverse and Prince Jonny, as well as consistently transgressive and hilarious lyrics, the record fell flat due to a lack of memorable hooks, boring vocals and, most egregiously, a very bland and spastic guitar-tone that sounded like it belonged more in a Pixies cover band than a critically acclaimed 2010s album.
As you can probably tell, I was pretty underwhelmed, and wasn't all that jazzed about venturing further into her discography. However, when I heard the overwhelmingly positive word of mouth surrounding her latest release, and how it was a 70s inspired sonic departure, I knew I had to check it out to see if it would impress me; and impressed I was. A soaring and superb record, Daddy's Home is equal part anachronistic and forward thinking.
A lot of discourse has been made likening this album to Clark's idol David Bowie's pivotal plastic soul gem Young Americans, which despite housing iconic tracks like fame and the title, is often scoffed at by hardcore fans for being a lazy pastiche. It would be erroneous to apply that distinction to Daddy's Home, because it oozes a personality all its own. Clark's vocals and guitar tone are far more entertaining and unique than her previous work, and her lyrics, always a high point are whip-smart, most revolving around her strained relationship with her father and its effects not just on the external world, but her own mind. The soul, funk and psych-rock influences only accentuate the album's dreamy and introspective nature.
Overall, much better than I expected, and it has instilled a newfound confidence and drive to further explore Clark's catalogue in spite of prior misgivings. Some tracks drag on a little long and can be a tad sleepy, but for the most part, Daddy's Home - and I'm here to stay.