Across three albums, the Dallas native has become a master of subverting her picture-perfectness with violence, rage, and mystery— "I'll make you sorry," sang Clark in creepy lullaby tones on the very first song on her debut album. The juxtaposition is naturally intriguing, a sophisticated twist on finding out that the horror-movie killer was actually the girl next door all along. "Physically, I'm a very demure-looking person," Clark said in a recent Pitchfork interview, "but I certainly have as much aggression or anger as the next person, and that's got to come out somehow." On her fine, art-rocking debut, Marry Me, those feelings of hurt, loss, and bloodlust could translate a tad cutesy. (On new track "Cheerleader", the lines, "I've played dumb when I knew better/ Tried too hard just to be clever," sound more self-consciously frank than usual.) Follow-up Actor found Clark over-embellishing at times, adding superfluous strings and flutes that often muddied her message.
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