Album Review: Grimes - Art Angels

12 November 2015 | 1:33 pm | Christopher H James

"Some of the most accomplished yet instantly cutting-edge pop today."

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Has it really been nearly four years since Visions? Slipping out unceremoniously in January 2012, Claire "Grimes" Boucher's breakthrough was something of a word-of-blog success, slowly building such momentum that by the end of the year she and lead single Oblivion had clambered atop those feted end-of-year lists.

In the afterglow of wins, awards and the like, Grimes' music continued to be heavily plugged as she toured extensively, and with a steady drip-feed of news, singles, scrapped tracklists etc. over the past year, it feels like she's never been away.

As current as Visions sounded at the time, Art Angels is a huge leap forward. Whereas Visions' production had a light, airy touch, Art Angels is more aggressive, with clean, punchy rhythms that grab you by the lapels and swing you around the room. There is also a slew of her own live instruments; unhappy about recent collaborative experiences in professional studios where instruments were kept away from her by studio hands on the basis of her gender, Boucher elected to play every string, key and pad herself in her own studio.

Despite maintaining her zeal for compositions that fritter about, everything flows naturally, with the likes of Flesh Without Blood dazzling as some of the most accomplished yet instantly cutting-edge pop today. It's to Grimes' credit as an arranger that she can package such an array of influences and genres into one fully realised sound that's unmistakably hers.

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