Claire Elise Boucher is BACK. This Canadian artist, who gained international popularity after the release of her previous full-length LP Visions, has spent the last couple of years touring and working on other projects. Now, she is back with a new cutting-edge album, which may be considered as an approach to redefine pop music.
Grimes’s previous works established her trademark experimental style, heavily influenced by such genres as electronica and synthpop. This time, however, she took her experimentation a step further. Art Angels is a perfect hybrid of her previous style and contemporary pop trends. Such a transformation, in my humble opinion, was a brilliant idea.
So, what is so appealing about this album? First of all, the songs preserved their heavy electronic vibe, a certain amount of experimentation and typical eerieness. Such songs as a hit single “REALiTi” strongly remind me of the previous album, with its dreamy production and heavy use of synthesisers.
At the same time, electronica is counterbalanced with a number of more radio-friendly songs, which would certainly satisfy a wider audience. In a couple of songs Grimes sings in a more conventional way, abstaining from her trademark vocal effects. And she does it SO well. The best illustration of this transition is another hit single of hers, “Flesh without Blood”. Such and other tracks make it possible to compare her with other ‘dance-pop’ artists, e.g. Sky Ferreira.
However, the factor that really makes the album a coherent artwork is production. Soundwise, Art Angels combines the best of both worlds – the songs are quite crowd pleasing, but you can also hear a fair share of heavy bass and booming electronica. Such an approach to production results in an even more DANCEABLE album, featuring my favourite track, an ultimate dance song “Pin”.
The album attracted a lot of controversy as some of the die-hard fans of Grimes find it hard to digest this significant change in style. As far as I understand such reservations, I myself find it impossible to agree with them. Art Angels is a mature, ambitious LP on which Grimes proves that she is able to successfully experiment with various genres. So, don’t be scared by ‘pop’ in the title of this post and check the album for yourself. If you think that Visions was great – Art Angels is EVEN better.