I realize the record's glass-like sound quality is deliberate, but because of it, she makes it awfully hard to buy into the damgage. And the way she slyly plays up those looks so that the dark, twisted lyrics are a "surprise" — it's still using beauty as an advantage, pandering to the stereotypical ideals of what a girl should/shouldn't look like and how a girl should/shouldn't act. Without the curls and the flawless skin, the evil-eyed derangement of Strange Mercy wouldn't be as effective, an important point I think people are gliding over.
You know what though? There were a lot of albums I did really like this year, and instead of going off on another tangent about what an underrated treat that Times New Viking album is, I'll just say you can see a bunch of them on our magazine-wide top 25 list, and the rest that you can hear on a Spotify playlist, appropriately called Songs That Never Stopped Sounding Good in 2011 (with the glaring omission of Ty Segall until Drag City joins Spotify).