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Actor Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 143 Ratings

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  • Summary: Annie Clark's second album was produced with John Congleton.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. With engaging songwriting, creative instrumentation and melodically special music, not only is Actor everything we imagined it would be but Clark has redefined the definition of pop music.
  2. Her voice seems small and fragile, but it's her most effective instrument, and it affixes a tight lynchpin to the album's broadly creative themes, leaving it glistening with ghostly elegance.
  3. Like an unsettling dream, Actor will stay with you for quite a while, but it isn’t listeners or critics that will be discomfited by the eccentric sophistication here.
  4. For all the darkness of Actor's concerns, however, it remains an exceptionally pleasurable album to listen to.
  5. You won't glean much more about those people and places than you knew going in, but Clark's strange angles and fanciful settings pack a visceral punch.
  6. Here, Clark’s lyrics are less overtly clever than on her debut, and they’re more deeply buried in layers of her spastic instrumentation. Nonetheless, they suggest a subtle, abstract intelligence.
  7. Q Magazine
    60
    Occasionally it drifts a little too aimlessly, as if recorded under the dulling influence of Prozac, but when she gets it right, she can be entirely, weirdly riveting. [Jun 2009, p.131]

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. michaelm
    May 5, 2009
    10
    Vicious and gorgeous.
  2. 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 fromThe 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
  3. MW
    May 6, 2009
    10
    Wonderful.
  4. 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""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!! Expand
  5. 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 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! Expand
  6. 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!
  7. May 7, 2021
    6
    Effective writing, self-awareness as impressive as it is honestly profound, even if St. Vincent takes her time to advance step by step. SufjanEffective writing, self-awareness as impressive as it is honestly profound, even if St. Vincent takes her time to advance step by step. Sufjan Steven's inspiration appears quite clearly throughout the record in the melodies, the structure and the themes tackled. But the overall chaos and disjointed prints truly constitute St. Vincent's identity.

    This sense of stretch and distortion characterizes "Actor," as many of the tracks don't seem to fit on the same track list. The constant inconsistent make this project sound drafty and overly messy even if it was surely the point of its creation. In addition to that St. Vincent has consciously made some weird and unpleasant artistic choices like over-compressing the drums on several tracks (like 'The Strangers', at the end of 'Save Me From What I Want', 'The Neighbors', 'Black Rainbow' or even in 'Actor Out of Work') which contributes to the terrible noisy mix of sounds that her voice goes through. This totally erases the magic that she has hardly contributed to create little by little upstream. Yet there are truly impressive and inspiring tracks along the way (as 'Just the Same But Brand New' or 'The Party').
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See all 28 User Reviews