In Review: St. Vincent - Daddy's Home

Annie Clark's latest album is her most personal to date, reflecting upon mother-daughter issues, womanhood, and her father’s imprisonment, but rests on some of these tropes a little too easily.
Posted: 21 May 2021 Words: Wes Foster

St. Vincent has been a stalwart of the space between rock and pop. Though Daddy’s Home carries much of the same trademark sound that Annie Clark is known for - brash, detuned songwriting alongside impressively broad vocals - the new record doesn’t really hit the heights of her 2014 self-titled album, or her 2017 Masseduction. Daddy’s Home does nothing wrong as such, though just feels more like an album that is written because it is time to release a new album. It takes nowhere near as much of the howling guitar-riffs that earlier albums were known for. In many ways, Daddy’s Home feels like an attempt to create something much greater or meaningful than the sum of its parts.

Like many artists of her stature, there comes a point where it feels like they no longer have that much to say, and source material becomes scarce. Where her lyrics can usually be impressively cutting they never really get to this point through Daddy’s HomePerhaps this is down to a want to write more personally. In this album, she writes of mother-daughter issues, womanhood, and her father’s imprisonment. Though her music has always carried these subjects, never before have they touched so closely. This is exactly where her writing seems to struggle though - once it gets overly personal, it begins to lose a real narrative. This thread unravels pretty quickly as she seems to conflate her father’s imprisonment with wider issues in the US prison system. This form of weaker narrative seems to be a bit of a problem amongst those that have found fame, as they continually try to seem relatable.

Daddy’s Home is, at face value, an album that works. It takes what St. Vincent has already built up, though perhaps rests on some of her tropes a little too easily. It doesn’t really bring anything new to her repertoire, though for anyone that does really like her work will still be an enjoyable listen, though surprisingly for her, doesn’t carry any truly stand out tracks. It’s a solid, but fairly forgettable album, regrettably.

Daddy's Home is out now via Loma Vista Recordings.

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