Review

By: Riley MacKinnon

A young Canadian woman has taken the world by storm with the major success of her

second major­ label release, Art Angels. A pop sensation, the album’s upbeat tempos help draw

the listener into the wacky world that belongs to Grimes.

Hailing from Vancouver, but making Montreal her home, Grimes released Visions, her

first album with 4AD in 2012. From there she led the storm of electronic pop. Where Visions was

very synth­heavy, with pulsing arpeggios and twiliring vocals, her latest release uses other

instruments that create a very full sounding pop album.

Her first single from the album, “Flesh Without Blood” utilizes different thematic and

melodic material that helped show her evolution since Visions. Heavy drums, guitar loops, and

more clear vocals help put Grimes high up on the pop totem pole. The aspect of her music that

is so refreshing is the amount of layers she uses in her music. Drawing from both the pop and

electronica worlds, with a little dash of industrial in the mix, her music can be categorized in

many places, but never does she settle for being solely an electronic artist. As she stated in an

ABC interview around the time of the release of Visions, “Grimes is ultimately a pop project.”

Grimes’ approach to pop in this latest album is much more direct than her previous

releases. As mentioned before, she draws from a lot of genres for inspiration, but I think it is her

much more prominent vocals that really set the tone for this pop release. It is very melodic, and

her vocals stand out much more than her previous releases.

Something that stood out for me on this album was the track “Scream” featuring

Taiwainese rapper Aristophanes. The thing that makes Grimes so unique is her ability to draw

from all these resources to create something entirely new, yet ultimately very Grimes­esque.

Her key is lots of texture and layers, but she loves to experiment and see where she can take

her music.

A strong woman taking the world by storm in an industry primarily dominated by men is

something that won’t go unnoticed. A musical chameleon, Grimes has the world at her

fingertips. Let’s see where she goes next.



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