There are delightful moments scattered throughout the album. An impossibly catchy melody and accompanying riff in “Cruel”; a chaotic interlude on “Northern Lights” as the machines in the artists’ hands wake up and start a rebellion; and a beautiful guitar line lingers in the distance throughout “Champagne Yea." In “Surgeon” Clark inhabits an '80s chorus and then pumps St. Vincent steroids through its veins; an outro guitar solo puts “Dilettante” to bed perfectly. “Year of the Tiger” closes the album with a haunted but charming character. The only trick I didn’t totally enjoy and/or understand was the funky "Neutered Fruit," which breaks down with some talkbox and whammy bar that seemed forced.
Strange Mercy is what we’ve come to expect from St. Vincent: a rare combination of innovations that is both exciting and lasting, and even more so than the stellar portfolio already under Clark’s belt. I give it a 2.5/3 on my truth/goodness/beauty doohickey.