St. Vincent

Angelic or devilish: Will the real Annie Clark step forward? In the studio as St. Vincent, the Dallas-raised former Polyphonic Spree member is the proggy-sweet siren of meticulously arranged records. Onstage, she shreds with demonic abandon. Her debut, 2007's Marry Me, exuded imagination, musicianship, and taste — three qualities which rarely schmooze in rock. Actor, her latest album, might be darker, but its frequent violent flashes ("Laughing with a mouth full of blood from a little spill I took") are no match for the bright keyboards and effervescent melodies that push her better, poppier nature over the top in the end.

 
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