Daddy's Home (studio album) by St. Vincent
St. Vincent bestography
The best album by St. Vincent is St. Vincent which is ranked number 457 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 4,153.
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Daddy's Home track list
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Daddy's Home ratings
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This album is rated in the top 9% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 75.7/100, a mean average of 75.6/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 75.8/100. The standard deviation for this album is 11.3.
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“Daddy’s Home” is a full embracement of the 70’s sound. St. Vincent effectively switches between Funk, prog, and folk. In particular, the sitar is fantastic and blends naturally with the funkier cuts. The grime and sleaze of 70’s New York is well represented. Clarke describes her character in high heels and struggling with issues ranging from drugs to prison visits. Despite, the successful theme and instrumentals the album rarely goes all out. The songs will flirt interesting climaxes or explosions but not fully commit.
I have had a hard time (relatively hard time) expressing myself regarding this album. I think the reason for this is despite being a mesmerizingly produced and detailed and professional, chiseled piece of music, featuring super well written songs that have a certain throwback sound that St. Vincent puts her own modern spin on,... it doesn't deeply move me. As I listen and without fail every time I listen I am blown away by the technical details and the execution of the songs and the way the bass sounds and the way her voice is recorded and the way that these elements of 70s cool are brought in and mixed and all that. I am never in a state of rapture, annoyance, I never close my eyes and feel a need to focus on the emotional heft of the words and the message, nor do I ever feel repulsed by some ugly mess of a turd of a song nor do I ever look forward to a particularly stellar standout track later. This is a great album technically and yet it has yet to really capture on an emotional, physical, or spiritual level.
So, anyway, I have heard this album half a dozen times and the listens have been spaced out, meaninbg I have never listened to this album in twice in a week not to mention a day. Instead I listen, I am impressed and I may move it up or down on my charts and then I move on and then I come back a month later and see that this is the one album that I never worked myself up to saying a damn thing about and I listen again with the intention of saying what I feel and formulate somewhat concrete thoughts on this album. I never have the will or interest to do any writing however.
Anyway, enough weird meta bullshit that no one cares about including me tbh. Instead now I am listening and I am starting to have some thoughts on this record outside of the one-liner "Really well recorded and solid 70s throwback album". For some reason the first 2 songs here never really hit me on any level, outside of the fact that they are sexy and they have these bass lines and grooves that are so slinky and cool and effortless sounding. Only after those first 2 does this album kind of start coalescing with the title track. The title track is great, the drum fills and that sexy full-throated soul scream noise she makes vocally...hot damn. This is followed by a very VERY Pink Floyd-esque slow burning psychedelic lullaby-esque tune which is beautiful. Love the big chorus. Like the guitar which sounds like a slightly dirtier and much less emotionally impactful take on David Gilmour's style and sound. By this point of this little album I am thinking "great we are onto something tangible and sweet if still not particularly inspiring to me."
Then, holy shit, something wild happens. That something is called "The Melting of the Sun". jiminy cricket this song! This is so luscious, so rich, so detailed, so absurdly well engineered and produced it almost gets to be TOO produced. Not quite does it cross that line. But holy shit. This is like one of those songs that should be on a stereo system salesman's speed dial. The way the keyboard's funky bass notes work with the bass guitar, the way the St. Vincent vocals work with the back up singers, the way the drum fills - ever so precise and perfect - oscillate between left and right and the way guitar comes in and almost crackles, the subtle honking horn sound effect or the instrument that makes that sound early on, the way the song ends and builds up to that ending, everything about this sounds so full-bodied. The song itself? like, what its about and what it makes me feel? not much to say there. This maybe is a bit indicative of my thoughts on this album as a whole. The album and the song is a technical accomplishment of great merit. The actual enjoyment of the material is mixed at best.
The funk of "Down" is well executed and pretty cool and retro, the corny police call at the center of "The Laughing Man" feels, well, corny and strained (if, predictably and again, well produced), the humming interludes are fine and as interludes they aren't nonsensical or obtrusive to the flow of the album nor do they provide much to the album that I have discerned.
The final 35% or so of the albums provides some really quality stuff, not going to lie. As a song that actually moved me and I thought was just a great song full stop (and not just a miracle of production) "Somebody Like Me" is much appreciated. The melody and the steel guitar and the vocals here are all tops and I just really love this song. I have located a genuinely felt favorite on this record with this track #10 and actual song #8. Phew! I was starting to worry! This gem is followed up by another gem with "My Baby Wants A Baby". Although this is less of a gem than the previous track, I still quite like its corny straight out of 1975 sound and those big drum sounds and that vocal delivery and the way the bass rumbles along and kills it here, its alllll gooood. Oh and it climaxes beautifully and passionately. Then this gem is followed by a third straight morsel of 70s soul and funk goodness with "...At the Holiday Party", which features an incredible drum sound and drum work in general with some added spicy percussion. And damn those horns and those back up singers and the way Clark comes in with those falsetto vocals and the way she songs this song is gorgeous. Then "Candy Darling" is a very fine, woozy, piece of sleepy pop, which I like as a closer.
Okay, so that listen was productive and somewhat illuminating. The last run of songs saves it for me from being a technically solid if soulless album to being a pretty soulful and lovingly crafted album. Yet... I still feel mixed about it. It feels like this was just a project that St. Vincent had been hankerin' to do for years. She clearly has a deep and basic understanding and love of psychedelic soul, funk rock, soft rock, psych rock, yacht rock and other mid 70s musical trends and it seems like she wanted to flex her muscles a bit by making this album sound as good and as sexy as possible while making the mid 70s her musical sandbox. And she pulled it off. But I don't feel like the themes or subjects or the whole sweep or concept of the album provides much to me.
In fairness, St. Vincent is one of the most acclaimed artists that I have yet to "get". There is clearly some brilliant genius at work. I have just never quite cracked the code or heard what so many other music fans have heard over the last 14 or so years. This album is pretty cool and I can hear that I am listening to a total musical boss. But it didn't yet show me or make me see what exactly makes St. Vincent such a titan in music. I will soon go back and give some of her other classics more spins, such as Strange Mercy, but until then I am feeling like this was a very very solid album with God-tier production and engineering but not much real emotional or otherwise heft.
Probably my least favourite of her albums. The melodies are weak and nothing really stands out. A bit disappointing to be honest.
One thing I’ve learned over the journey is that to fully appreciating an Annie Clarke album takes time, however this one took a lot of time even by Annie Clarke album standards. I simply couldn’t get my head around it. However I eventually did and am now happy to recommend this latest release. My only complaint is the almost total lack of St.Vincent and her trademark shredding guitar
A very enjoyable listen that seems to be more than the sum of its parts. Taken on their own the songs aren't all that special to me but in context with the varied but meticulous range of influences they form an album that doesn't really get old. The super clean mix lets you really hear all that's going on.
Good album, some very great melodies, somehow it didn't stick with me.
Her best since Strange Mercy, no doubt. Love the funk and glam influences, and I like that they don't overpower Clark's writing. Also, the production on this thing is pitch perfect--so, hat's off to Jack Antonoff, a guy I'm generally not crazy about. Wish there was a little more punch, but I appreciate how smooth and intimate this is.
I definitely prefer this over the more immaculate predictability of her past couple of records, but there's still something missing here. For a supposedly more personal album, this still relies a lot on referential head-nods and elaborate turn-of-phrases, though perhaps more so is that it's full a lot of rich and varied musical ideas that often to seem to get into each track's way, with each singular statement feeling both bloated and yet unfinished and making the whole record feel a bit muddy in what it's actually trying to achieve- perhaps a big difference between stated thesis and actual result. It's definitely a more exciting overall listen than we've had from her in awhile, even if doesn't truly draw down her safeguards and deliver something truly intense and more personal it at least lights a fire under it's many ideas to make the music feel more engaging than it's been for awhile from her overall.
The more I listen to St Vincent, the more I get the feeling that this is what Prince would have been if he had been a woman. Outrageous talent and style. The Sheena Easton homage is great. One of the best albums of 2021 by a mile.
Somebody Like Me and My Baby Wants a Baby are presently my two favorite songs of 2021. Highly recommend.
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