St. Vincent Shows Her Strange Mercy Roots In 'Prince Johnny'
  • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2014

  • Posted by: K. Hess

Strange Mercy era fans of St. Vincent have been holding their breath, anxiously, in apprehensive anticipation of the artist's eponymously-titled forthcoming album. The record comes on the heels of Love This Giant, 2012's collaboration with David Byrne, which kind of fell flat with the indie rocker's fans. So far preview tracks "Digital Witness" and "Birth in Reverse", both rad in their own right, have led listeners to believe that we can expect more of that disco pop and less of her much loved indie poetry.

Well, fans: you can exhale now. "Prince Johnny", St. Vincent's third album-teaser track, is reassurance that the poetic guitaress has not abandoned us now that she's been invited to sit with the cool kids. In fact, she wants us all to sit together. The punctuating rhythmic drums that marched us through Strange Mercy are sweetly rubbed with disco-synthe, reverberating beneath a church choir of airy vocals.

Even her lyrics marry her new obsession with the alienation from the self, with her old stomping ground of romantic dilemma. She re-writes the story of Pinocchio, illustrating her character's alienation from her lover due to his alienation from himself: "Prince Johnny, you're kind but do be careful / By now I know just when to stamp here / When all your friends and acolytes / Holding court in bathroom stalls / Where you pray to all / To make you a real boy / Saw you pray to all / To make you a real boy."


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