The latest offering from St Vincent is a choir of clangs. A symphony of squiggles and squonks. A bedlam of booming, burbling, belching bass lines. All on a giant, epic, industrial scale. And all conducted, constructed, concocted in a way that generates hook after hook after sing-along hook. In one way it’s a logical progression from Strange Mercy. The same elements are present. This time, though, there’s an undisguised resoluteness of purpose. A hard-headed, lip-biting, eye-squinting desire to deliver something different. And not just something different from previous St Vincents, but something different from anyone else around at the moment. Mission accomplished. The pace of the album is exhausting. “Sweatin’, sweatin'”, she sings on the opener. “Runnin’, runnin'”. The sound is exhilarating. There’s never an minimal minim, or a quivering quaver. And the lyrics are a typical St Vincent mixture of the hilarious. “Oh what an ordinary day, Take out the garbage, masturbate”. And the downright scary. “Pleasure, Dot loathing, Dot Huey, Dot Newton, It was a lonely lonely winter”. Annie Clark has spoken of her desire to make an edgy album. But be careful what you wish for. Things rarely remain on the edge for very long. And in music, today’s edginess is tomorrow’s museum piece. Yet there’s just enough here to keep St Vincent out of the collection of mid-2010s items. And more than that. There’s also one genuine classic. In contrast to the furious fuzziness of the rest of the album, ‘Prince Johnny’ is simply sublime. Harking back to the most beautiful songs on Actor, it’s that moment when the fog lifts and the light shines through, revealing not an urban wasteland but a vast, verdant vista. St Vincent could be Annie Clark’s masterpiece. ‘Prince Johnny’ certainly is.