Every St. Vincent album ranked from worst to best

St. Vincent
(Image credit: Dana Jacobs/FilmMagic)

Since recording her debut album as St. Vincent in 2007, Annie Clark has become one of the most innovative and fascinating artists in modern music. 

Known for crafting songs that morph and shapeshift at every turn, her collision of glittering pop with forceful distortion-ridden guitar work has seen Clark repeatedly defy expectation. A multi-instrumentalist who cut her teeth as part of Sufjan Stevens’ backing band, her seven solo albums have documented a vivid evolution, embodying a chameleonic persona that has allowed her to retain an impressive detachment from rock stardom. 

Darting from art pop to baroque pop and electronic to lounge-pop, St. Vincent has also emerged as one of the world's most innovative and interesting guitarists, conjuring up sounds both heavenly and entirely otherworldly, her singular technique near impossible to replicate.

Following the release of St. Vincent’s distinctly hopeful seventh album All Born Screaming, we look back over Annie Clark’s metamorphic discography to rank her albums from worst to best.

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7. Daddy’s Home (2021)

Daddy's Home

(Image credit: Loma Vista)

Following Clark’s father’s release from prison at the end of 2019, St. Vincent’s sepia-toned sixth studio album is a peculiar slab of retro pop steeped in '70s New York swagger. Produced by Jack Antonoff, it’s a radical reinvention that sees Clark step into the world of Warhol-era pop art and early disco, but its penchant for nostalgia contributes to a rare misstep for an artist whose magic lies in her innovation.

Opener Pay Your Way In Pain feels a little too familiar, whilst revenge fantasy ode Down borrows heavily from the psychedelics of the 70s soft-rock scene. That’s not to say that Daddy’s Home is a complete disappointment, with The Melting Of The Sun, a tribute to women in the music industry, serving up a late-career highlight in the form of  but St. Vincent is undoubtedly at her best when blazing a fiery trail.

St. Vincent - The Melting Of The Sun (Official Video) - YouTube St. Vincent - The Melting Of The Sun (Official Video) - YouTube
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6. Marry Me (2007)

Marry Me

(Image credit: Beggars Banquet)

Named after a running gag from Arrested Development, Annie Clark’s debut album introduced the world to the atypical alien of St. Vincent via a collection of symphonic pop singalongs. Packed tightly with philosophical musings on life, love, fear, and revolution, from its bold opening statement of intent, Now, Now, through the confronting chaos of Your Lips Are Red and Human Racing’s endearing dark humour, Marry Me offers only glimpses of the art rock vision St. Vincent would come to set in motion, but it’s a thrilling preview of the boundary-pushing artistry that would soon bloom.

5. Actor (2009)


(Image credit: 4AD)

Whilst Marry Me felt distinctly in line with the scene and contemporaries that birthed it, on her second album Annie Clark stepped confidently into her own lane. Layering up a baroque pop sound with fuzzy guitars and looped orchestrations, Actor is a delightfully quirky – and oftentimes jarring - forward-step for the Texan multi-instrumentalist. Defined by its wicked juxtaposition, nagging ambiguities, and stunning production, courtesy of Grammy Award-winning producer John Congleton, here Clark finds her stride. With silky vocals gliding over synth-powered chaos and cinematic strings, even in its most simplistic moments, Actor is a charming welcome to the genius of St. Vincent.  

St Vincent - Actor Out Of Work (Official Video) - YouTube St Vincent - Actor Out Of Work (Official Video) - YouTube
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4. Strange Mercy (2011)

Strange Mercy

(Image credit: 4AD)

If her second album was the one that defined Clark’s fierce artistic vision, its follow-up Strange Mercy was the moment where her off-kilter emotions truly took hold. Slowing the pace for a collection of indie bops drenched in raw humanity, from the sharp intakes of breath on opener Chloe In The Afternoon to the visceral voice cracks on the album’s title track, album three finds St. Vincent more alive than ever.

Untangling the messiness of life, Strange Mercy sees the musician lean into her role as a guitar goddess, the six-string filling spaces that keys, strings, and layered vocals once occupied. Punishing, pulverising, and at times utterly unhinged, it marks a reinvention of iconic proportions, dripping in distortion and overflowing with confidence.

St. Vincent - Cruel (Official Video) - YouTube St. Vincent - Cruel (Official Video) - YouTube
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3. St. Vincent (2014)

St. Vincent

(Image credit: Loma Vista)

Embracing her electronic influences, St Vincent’s self-titled effort sees Clark refine her eclectic sound with a distinct punk edge. Merging the cinematic baroque pop of Actor with the tenderness and six-string seduction of Strange Mercy, her fourth collection serves as a defining statement. Cementing her position as one of the most unique artists of her generation, from the frantic frenzy of Birth In Reverse through the gorgeously funky guitar licks of Prince Johnny, Clark’s drive for experimentation shines bright throughout. Critiquing the realities of modern life, from the self-indulgence of social media posting to the existential crises such obsessions can spur on, St. Vincent strikes the balance between playfulness and politics perfectly.

St. Vincent - Digital Witness (Later Archive 2014) - YouTube St. Vincent - Digital Witness (Later Archive 2014) - YouTube
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2. All Born Screaming (2024)

All Born Screaming

(Image credit: Virgin)

We all know that 21st century life can be a hellscape, and few albums capture that better than Annie Clark’s seventh solo album. Her first self-produced record, All Born Screaming documents the constant strive to find beauty and meaning within a life counting down towards an inevitable end. As existential as it is essential, from So Many Planet’s reggae-infused apocalyptic soundscapes to the hopeful promise of something more on Sweetest Fruit – a tribute to late electronic artist Sophie – St. Vincent’s latest effort both confronts and consoles. A welcome dash of realist hope amidst a discography dominated by doom, between thundering riffs (Flea, Broken Man) and dream-pop ballads (The Power’s Out), it’s both a reminder that life is fleeting, and an encouragement to make the most of it. 

St. Vincent - Broken Man (Jimmy Kimmel Live / 2024) - YouTube St. Vincent - Broken Man (Jimmy Kimmel Live / 2024) - YouTube
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1. Masseduction (2017)


(Image credit: Loma Vista)

Devastatingly sad yet undeniably sexy, Masseduction presents the most infectious and grandiose side to St. Vincent. Hanging up the guitar that served her well on her defining self-titled album, on her fifth full-length Clark’s obsession with complete reinvention brought her to a futuristic electro-pop masterpiece, laden with drum machines and synths. Among thirteen compelling, humorous, and heart-shattering tracks acting as a commentary on artificiality, anguished lead single Los Ageless is a masterclass in great pop songwriting, whilst the tragic, stripped-back Happy Birthday, Johnny boasts Clark’s iconic storytelling style. An intimate insight into an artist who never set out to occupy the celebrity sphere, it’s the kind of manic, direct record only a true genius could pull off, and Annie Clark is just that. 

St. Vincent - "Los Ageless" (Official Video) - YouTube St. Vincent -
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