Chris Donaghey
Reviews Editor
August 05, 2007
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Marry Me Marry Me
July 10, 2007
Beggars Banquet Us
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St. Vincent
Marry Me

Annie Clark is a chameleon of every facet of music outside of the karmic type. Touring with and contributing to albums by the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, opening for everyone from Television to Xiu Xiu, creating a new line of fat-burning home griddles...well, okay, the last one is not true, but the girl gets around in the most musical of terms. Which direction would this prodigious young woman take her full-length solo debut? Well, Marry Me answers those questions with an emphatic "here, there, and everywhere." There is no question that Ms. Clark is talented but throughout this effort, she seems to struggle to find a particular focus or stable direction to her sound. She goes from channeling a fierce, almost apocalyptic Regina Spektor ("Your Lips are Red") to emerging from behind the velvet curtain as a sultry jazz pianist ("Marry Me") in a matter of two songs before, suddenly, shifting over to an amalgamation of styles in "Paris is Burning" which ends up sounding like Blonde Redhead dancing a spiteful tango. The results are palatable to the ears, melodic, and even quite catchy at times. This woman has no shortage of musical talent, make no mistake. These tunes are occasionally simultaneously relics of a bygone era and yearnings for eras yet to arrive. She wears a coat of many ebullient colors, though we get the idea throughout that she is not quite sure how to don it or even in which of the colors she feels most comfortable. Without this essential knowledge, the emotional fortitude of the album is kept in check. Even her most persistent fables, though literate, lack a certain je ne sais quoi because they are mired in pretty but meandering melody and style. Annie Clark has massive amounts of promise as a songwriter, but she needs to find her focus rather than play around in styles just for fun like children play in puddles. Simply put, Marry Me is a vernal album by a woman with an all-too panoramic scope, a hopeful starting point to wondrous things.

Release date: July 10, 2007
Label: Beggars Banquet
Rating: 7.0 / 10

On the web: http://www.ilovestvincent.com/
[RMR]