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Album Review: Visions Grimes

25 March 2012 | 10:16 am | Sarah Scaife

Like sticking your finger in a power outlet, Grimes has a kind of electricity to her that is somewhat shocking. Pleasantly so.

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There aren't many albums that could just as adequately serve to relax, as they would encourage dancing. Visions is one of them. The highly anticipated works of Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, has arrived in all its irregular, synthesised, harmonised glory.
Opener Infinite Love Without Fulfillment is one of the 'poppiest' tracks on the album, luring your into a false sense of catchy security before thrusting you into the emotional and complex crux of the album. As weird as its cover artwork, Visions is a strange amalgamation of the past and the future. The second track, for instance, aptly named Genesis, features tangled high-pitched vocals like an ethereal choir from Biblical times. The rest of the album follows similarly; the monotonic synth pounding away, vocals bordering futuristic, lyrical content almost indeterminable… Grimes, describing her work as a “vehicle for [her] psychic purging”, has well and truly harnessed the otherworldly. After lifting briefly on Vowels = Space & Time, pausing to revisit Cyndi Lauper in the 1980s, the album descends back into the dark depths of its confusing perch somewhere between ominous and uplifting. As the synth shifts rapidly from speaker to speaker, evoking bright colours behind the eyelids, it becomes difficult to remain rooted in reality. Like sticking your finger in a power outlet, Grimes has a kind of electricity to her that is somewhat shocking. Pleasantly so.
Like most progressive synth-pop, it's difficult to determine your consensus within the first few minutes of the album, but unlike most progressive syth-pop, you will inevitably arrive at a particularly enthusiastic thumbs-up by album's end.