At first blush, Grimes' latest full-length, Visions
, may seem like a trendy dance-pop album. Go a bit deeper, and you'll see it's not that easy to describe. The Grimes wave was a bit slow to wash over me at first, but once it did, it engulfed completely, making me incapable of choosing anything else to listen to. Grimes is one of those artists that became an indie internet sensation before anyone (in the US) knew who she actually was, even though she had been quietly putting out records on Montreal-based label Arbutus for the past few years. The project of Claire Boucher, Grimes has developed from lo-fi home recording natural to a studio-production pro. Her layering of harmonies on top of harmonies on top of electronic-sounding keyboards might seem cold to some, but the vibe the music actually creates is warm and inviting.
How is this achieved? Let's start with the intro: "Infinite ♡ Without Fulfillment" is a telling and perfectly designed entrée into the Visions
world, both in music and lyrical content. A juxtaposition of both indie rock and dance music, it sets the tone of the record and leads perfectly into the beautiful "Genesis" and the mystical "Oblivion," a yearning dance song at its core. The rest of the album wobbles a bit but remains steady in its fun energy content. "Nightmusic," which features frequent Grimes collaborator Majical Clouds, has a steady up and down beat that surrounds Boucher's voice with a beautiful stage. The bass is often thumping in the background of Visions
, like a racing heartbeat, true to the overarching romantic theme of the record.
07 March, 2012