Since I'm starting this album a couple days late, I'm gonna review the first four songs to cover a little ground: "Rattlesnake," "Birth in Reverse," "Prince Johnny," and "Huey Newton."
"Rattlesnake" is a pretty cool song to open the album up with. I dig that it starts with just her and synth - gives you a focal point early on. The textures that go on between synths, guitar, and vocals (with effect) are all pretty dope and fit well together, which I like that. It's electronic, while still having an authentic feel to it. I remember her performance having electronic elements to it, but I don't remember if it was this much (like I said, I haven't listened to any of her previous albums). Regardless, it sounds really cool. Reminds me of Tune Yards a little bit. Cool shtuff.
I like the way that "Birth in Reverse" starts out with a similar feel to the previous tune, but then immediately picks up the pace to differentiate itself. Again, this song has a bunch of effects on all the instruments (her voice included), but it's not overly done, and it keeps a kind of theme going on. This is one song where I don't mind that four-on-the-floor is happening the whole time - it's appropriate for the track. The only reason I wish St Vincent didn't have a vocal effect is so that I could hear her true voice better. It still sounds good, I would just love to hear it. End break down is super dope. I dig, I dig.
How is it that somehow St Vincent has managed to make the human voice program on the synth sound good on "Prince Johnny"? I am impressed, and I like it. I also like that this song brings it down a little bit, while keeping a strong feel. Bass/guitar line in the chorus adds a nice little umph to the track. I don't really get the track lyrically (Prince Johnny, who?), I also can't understand everything she's saying, but she makes it sound cool, so I'm down. Definitely dig that it goes out on the bass/guitar lick. Coolness all around.
St Vincent's voice sans-effect shows herself on "Huey Newton!" She's got a quiet voice, but it's got a swagger to it that I like. She's in the front of this track, which is good. The groove is relatively bare, so it gives her a nice canvas to paint (vocally). She sounds lovely when she gets into the high part in the chorus. The whole song has this "pretty" feel to it...up til the B section throws down some edge. It's back to the effect-style, but it grooves, and I get down with it. I like that this B section surprised me, and in a good way. Not enough surprises in music these days, if you ask me.