I got lost in this albums cover for about twenty minutes before I started this review. One of the more intriguing skulls designs Ive seen over the last few years, wearing a blooming crown and emerging from flames is bordered by a milieu of foreign languages. Now, thinking about the music, Im starting to gather that the confusing image is altogether appropriate. Claire Boucher, Grimes, comes from todays new school of electronic, dream pop a school owing equal parts to Madonna, Bjork, and Aphex Twins ambient works. But just as the mysterious letters that adorn the covers skull, leaving behind the roaring fire, Grimes music is a foreign, fresh take on the aforementioned. Boucher warps and distorts the common conventions of electro and synth pop, weaving them into her own fantasies. Bouncy beats are held up by spacious and soft vocals, often times pitch-shifted and delayed, echoing on throughout. Strange samples flutter around verses, soaked in stereo sound tricks. Its a highly intriguing listen, and not merely for its production but furthermore for its melodies and hooks, its a highly infectious pop record once alls said and done. One both for the home listen (make your daily routine a good touch weirder) and for the clever DJ looking to work in the obscure. Highlights include the sure-classics Genesis, Circumambient, Be a Body, and Nightmusic, all prime for a space stations dance floor, the crowd looking back through the window at how distant other music seems.
- music label: 4AD 2012
reviewed by A. Tomorrow 05/2012
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