I’m a little late in getting this post up, because I’ve probably been listening to the new Grimes record in high frequency for the past two weeks, but this is my blog, and I’ll articulate my love for music whenever I feel like it.
Claire Boucher, AKA Grimes, broke through in 2012, with the album Visions. It was a weird, ethereal but undeniably catchy take on EDM.
It’s success also allowed the not at all reticent Boucher to develop a bit of a cult of personality.
Almost four years later, Art Angels is finally out, and it’s a wildly different album.
The best way to describe it as the Yeezus of girl-pop albums. It’s aggressive, weird pop made entirely to the artist’s whims.
Of course, critics of the album might knock it for cribbing some obvious pop influences, but with lyrics about butterflies coping with deforestation, an entire song without English lyrics, and the catchiest reference to eye laceration since “Debaser” it’s hard to see this as a shameless bid for mainstream success or as being anything other than Boucher making art that pleases her.
Besides there’s fluctuations between genre country, EDM, rock and Taiwanese rap all enjoy moments.
This album finds Grimes pushing her music in new directions, with Boucher singing in ways I had no ideas she could.
Boucher produces her voice as another instrument in the mix. She bizarrely channels Chris Cornell on “California”, she beys like a hound to provide structure to “Flesh Without Blood” and simply sings some inimitably catchy hooks on songs such as “Belly of the Beat”.
The eclectic vocals are exemplified on “Kill v. Maim”. There’s bubble gum cheerleader chants, screams, chipmunk hooks and a conspicuous gender fluidity to the lyrics that makes for a truly singular listening experience.
It’s nothing like the slow-building, dreamy synth pop that came before it, but Art Angels is it’s own extremely dense, extremely enjoyable pop oddity.
Grimes bats 1.000 on this album, as there is not a single unenjoyable track.
This is quite possibly my favorite album of the year.