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Grimes – Visions Counterpoint

written by: on February 21, 2012

There are two things you need to know about Pop ‘stache. The first is that music is our politics. The second is that we’re a family, and like any family we disagree about things, like politics,  at times. Here’s an example and an alternate viewpoint to our original review of Grimes – Visions.

Attention Deficit Disorder can prove itself unbearable and certainly unwelcome while trying to accomplish any given task. Think studying for the LSATS, college finals, or worse, writing an album review for a killer music site in the final hours of its deadline. While some choose to superficially medicate inconsistencies in order to make up for lost time and control sporadic trends,  Claire Boucher of Grimes seems to have mastered her musically inclined A.D.D. in mouthfuls of girly falsetto and the user-friendly Garageband. In her upcoming album, Boucher’s Visions properly combines an eclectic slew of genres and influences into a beautiful dreamy pop collection, one whose all-encompassing output curtails her previous efforts and makes transparent the young singer’s anticipated future.

Early reports comment on the Montreal singer’s inclination towards the stylings of TLC, Aphex Twin and pre-Cannon Mariah Carey, to name a few, which makes for an interesting picture in light of Visions as a whole. Rather than being a mess of hip-hop and high-pitched diva melodies, the album is a pleasant balance of careful synths, spunky beats, and polished vocals. Following a few LPs and a collaboration EP, Boucher’s matured sound functions on a “post-Internet” palette that some modern-day artists fail to comply to. Regardless of the odds and ends from which she draws influence, Visions aptly layers darker beats above glittery falsettos above bouncy synths for a very dance worthy, cohesive piece.

Culled as the first single, “Oblivion” is easily one of the most enjoyable and accessible songs. Mixed among fast tempo, upbeat tracks are songs like “Genesis,” “Visiting Statue” and “Skin,” where Boucher allows her voice to garnish soothing synths, in turn providing tidbits of chill wave into her visionary collection. “Circumambient” merges the opposite spectrums of high/fast to low/slow as it transitions between smooth, warped sounds that quickly build into energized synths.

Even the shorter intro, outro, and brief interlude tracks like “Eight” add quality and flow to the album’s wholesome output. If her songs don’t perfectly trail into one another  and suffice ideas of sequence, the lyrics absolutely bridge any gaps listeners may take note of. It is the careful combination of track after track, “Be a Body” then “Colour of Moonlight,” for instance, that showcase how Boucher’s method of expressing herself isn’t simply handed to the audience, but rather inferred through realization and attention.

It would be hard to dismiss Boucher’s impact on the industry’s female heavyweights after absorbing her unconventional approach in Visions. Similar to the likes of Lykee Li, Marill Garbus and Alexis Krass, Boucher takes expressing her character very literally. Thankfully, what may seem have appeared schizophrenic to Boucher in her music processes has been translated amicably with vocals, beat, and experimentation.

Grimes – Visions tracklist:

  1. “Infinite ♡ Without Fulfillment (intro)”
  2. “Genesis”
  3. “Oblivion”
  4. “Eight”
  5. “Circumambient”
  6. “Vowels = Space and Time”
  7. “Visiting Statue”
  8. “Be a Body”
  9. “Color of Moonlight (Antiochus)” (featuring Doldrums)
  10. “Symphonia IX (my wait is u)”
  11. “Nightmusic” (featuring Majikal Cloudz)
  12. “Skin”
  13. “know the way (outro)”