Laughing with a Mouth of Blood
Actor couldn't be a more fitting title for the soft-spoken Annie Clark to spread her histrionic wings. The follow-up to her acclaimed debut is like a Disney soundtrack for the GarageBand age -- gorgeous baroque pop fit for a queen, with layers of pulsing synths, echoing harmonies, swelling strings and distorted guitars. But like an angel stuck with duties in purgatory, Clark's celestial croons utter some fairly unsettling words ("H-E-L-P/ Help me!"). So forget Disney; here's a fairytale score for the realists, for those who prefer the beauty in adversity, not the happily ever after.