Actor

  • Record Label: 4AD
  • Release Date: May 5, 2009
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 93 out of 98
  2. Negative: 2 out of 98

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  1. May 15, 2012
    10
    The perfect album. I barely discovered this album 2 weeks ago. I previously listened to Strange Mercy, which is good and much different from this. Actor is by far Annie's best album. She succeeds in every way possible and more! The tracks that really captured my heart in this album were Save Me From What I Want, Black Rainbow, Actor Out Of Work, Marrow, Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood, andThe perfect album. I barely discovered this album 2 weeks ago. I previously listened to Strange Mercy, which is good and much different from this. Actor is by far Annie's best album. She succeeds in every way possible and more! The tracks that really captured my heart in this album were Save Me From What I Want, Black Rainbow, Actor Out Of Work, Marrow, Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood, and two of my now, all time favorite songs ever, The Party, which will take you to places you've never been before, and Just The Same, But Brand New which is incredibly written lyrically and instrumentally. This album gets a PERFECT 10 out of 10 in my book . Expand
  2. Yema
    Oct 18, 2009
    10
    I can't believe this doesn't have a higher metacritic rating. The critics who gave it scores as low as 60 are wrong! I can listen to this album the whole way through and it never gets old. Truly a masterpiece and it deserves to be in every Top 10 list this year!
  3. HelenB
    May 6, 2009
    10
    I loved Clark's debut - "Marry Me", and "Actor" was even more compex, lyrical and darker. I enjoy her experimentation with this sort of clashing between sweet orchestral arrangements with the dark crazy distorted feature of the guitar. She is lethal on the guitar and I love it. Definitely a contender for top album this year.
  4. ClifC
    May 7, 2009
    9
    Amazing all the way. Go girl!
  5. BlueMeanie
    Oct 4, 2009
    9
    Ignore the cover. It's studiously naive like a Talking Heads photo. Like them, this is revolutionized pop as well. Way better than what I expected.
  6. Jack
    May 5, 2009
    10
    She's evolved, same beautiful voice, but has found the sound where the voice belongs. The ties to Sufjan are more evident. But how can that be a bad thing. Amazing, do yourself the favor and check it out!
  7. ChristianP
    May 6, 2009
    9
    so so so impressive in so so so many ways.
  8. EvanS
    May 8, 2009
    7
    On first listen I was mesmerized - the work is inspired with beautiful layers of familiar sounding lead-ins (the first track does a fun tease of "Bye Bye Blackbird" and then takes you to an entirely different spot. This album leaked air when I read an interview with Annie Clark who described her fascination with combining a Disney soundtrack with "knarley" guitar work. It kinda spoiled On first listen I was mesmerized - the work is inspired with beautiful layers of familiar sounding lead-ins (the first track does a fun tease of "Bye Bye Blackbird" and then takes you to an entirely different spot. This album leaked air when I read an interview with Annie Clark who described her fascination with combining a Disney soundtrack with "knarley" guitar work. It kinda spoiled the discovery for me and the music should speak for itself. Still, this album is captivating and Annie Clark is an incredible talent who is just beginning to lift off. Expand
  9. LaurenceB
    May 8, 2009
    10
    Incredible album - the stage is set for St. Vincent to storm the top 5's of innumerable end-of-year lists.
  10. John
    May 9, 2009
    10
    Masterpiece. Nothing else needs to be said.
  11. AidanW
    Jun 11, 2009
    9
    Great from start to finish. A great synthesis of late 80s indie rock and St. Vincent's own energy. Varied, and captivating!
  12. Aaron
    Jul 5, 2009
    10
    This record deserves a top 5 position on most critics end of year lists for sure.
  13. michaelm
    May 5, 2009
    10
    Vicious and gorgeous.
  14. JeremyF
    May 5, 2009
    10
    Marry Me is a bit better in my opinion, but Actor proves to be a nearly pitch-perfect follow up. From the pulsating beat of "Actor Out of Work," to the swirling instrumentals of "The Party," to the emotional crack in her voice when she says "Tomorrow's some sort of stranger who I'm not supposed to see" in the brilliant "The Neighbors." I think "the Sequel should have been kept Marry Me is a bit better in my opinion, but Actor proves to be a nearly pitch-perfect follow up. From the pulsating beat of "Actor Out of Work," to the swirling instrumentals of "The Party," to the emotional crack in her voice when she says "Tomorrow's some sort of stranger who I'm not supposed to see" in the brilliant "The Neighbors." I think "the Sequel should have been kept off, as "Just the Same but Brand New" is actually a perfect and slightly inconclusive ending. But even so, a terrific work. Expand
  15. MW
    May 6, 2009
    10
    Wonderful.
  16. AndrewB
    May 6, 2009
    10
    Like a love child between Audrey Hepburn and Frank Zappa.
  17. DannyT
    Jun 16, 2009
    10
    Brilliance. Visionary.
  18. YemaL
    May 31, 2009
    10
    An amazing album that gets better every time you listen to it. I can't stop listening!
  19. SimonD.
    Jul 18, 2009
    10
    Perhaps the most spot-on pop album of the decade. I agree with the commenter who called it visionary: Annie Clark is redefining what pop music should be. Truly, truly stunning.
  20. Nov 3, 2010
    10
    It is incredible that this album can be better than her first but it is. St. Vincent managed to make an even better album this time around and it's great I love almost every song and the best songs in this album are probably among the best of 2009.
  21. Jun 15, 2011
    10
    Annie Clark has one of the most elegant, riveting, soft voices I've ever heard. It's just beautiful. Actor is an amazing record. It starts off with the track "The Strangers" which is an amazing opener and every track after that seems to get darker, funnier, and just wickedly great to hear. You can really relate to this album. All In All, Actor is an impressive and important album thatAnnie Clark has one of the most elegant, riveting, soft voices I've ever heard. It's just beautiful. Actor is an amazing record. It starts off with the track "The Strangers" which is an amazing opener and every track after that seems to get darker, funnier, and just wickedly great to hear. You can really relate to this album. All In All, Actor is an impressive and important album that absolutely needs to be listened too. A Expand
  22. Apr 27, 2014
    10
    "Actor" is a brilliant album...just slightly less brilliant than "Strange Mercy" (2011) & "St. Vincent" (2014). And her debut, "Marry Me" (2009) is just slightly less brilliant than this one. What a catalog!!
  23. Aug 24, 2014
    10
    What happens here is very unusual: a second album that's even way better than its predecessor. Excellent forms and structures color wonderful songs that tend to start as if they were in a magic fairy tale and end as if they were burning out in hell. To say it clearer, this album explodes irony; explodes artistry; explodes anxious talent.
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. 80
    Her second album is rowdier and less well-behaved, and thus better, although the template is the same: breathy coos and lush strings intermittently blown apart by distorted guitar blasts.
  2. On first listen it feels like the musical equivalent of doodling a massive cock-and-balls on a Rembrandt, but eventually this reveals itself as the first moment of compositional brilliance on an album packed full of them.
  3. Quite eponymously, the album is a grand performance, and one whose stagecraft is the sole work of a brilliant ringmaster in Clark.