This past year I was able to see Annie Clark on her “Love This Giant” tour with David Byrne. As fun and infectious as that experience was, there’s always a drawback to collaboration. Each artist’s skills and talents must meld, bend, blend and co-exist with the other. And in this case, St. Vincent’s guitar melts and shred-fests gave way to buckets of brass. I’m sure it was good for her to learn some stagecraft from a master, and pick up some creativity tips — but this new track, “Birth In Reverse”, announces in a bold fashion, why I’m glad to have St. Vincent back in all her unhinged, roughed-up, scuzzed-up guitar-gilded glory. This song plays like something from Marnie Stern, with little bursts or mini explosions of ingenuity, style, flash and full on force. Not sure if there’s a rationale behind this particular song being the first single release for the upcoming February 24th record. At first glance, I thought maybe the title was a significant hint at a return to an old sound. But it could simply be a cool way of announcing that the singular Annie is back. I’m also a big fan of the new cover, Annie sitting atop a pink throne like an Egyptian fro-Pharaoh, as if the photo were clipped off some Sun Ra record. — David D. Robbins Jr.