To anyone who doubted Grimes‘ greatness (including myself),
I’ve taken a quick break from bouncing around my bedroom to her new album Artangels to tell you why we are all terrible people for doubting Claire Boucher’s weird and wonderful artistic vision.
I’ve spent an unnecessary amount of time scrolling through my social media timeline to find my initial opinion of ‘Go’, the track Grimes released earlier in the year. Sometimes, your ears aren’t ready to hear what an artist creates, and mood and timing play a vital role in reactions to music. When I first heard ‘Go’ I was overworked and underwhelmed. Unfortunately for Grimes, other fans were equally as disappointed.
The mixed reactions to ‘Go’ got Grimes’ creative cogs turning. She scrapped her entire fourth album, and the result of this creative oil change produced Artangels. Shortly before she released the album digitally in November, Grimes debuted her video for tracks ‘Flesh Without Blood/Life In The Vivid Dream’. My friend directed me to the new material, and when I heard/saw what Boucher had created, my temperature rose and my feet were on fire with the urge to dance. Grimes looked and sounded as fantastic as she had on Visions (2012), and I was convinced Artangels would be of the same artistic ilk. To my surprise, it wasn’t.
I reviewed Artangels for Gigslutz and penned a massively enthusiastic write up filled with hyperbole which failed to suppress my clear listening bias. I gave the album three stars, but since then I’ve listened to Artangels on repeat, and I feel I cheated Grimes of a fourth star. She doesn’t need any kind of critical recognition – freely declaring “I don’t wanna know what they say” – but I can’t help but feel bad for under rating something which has clearly been setting my musical world on fire for a solid fortnight.
Each track on the album feels like a defiant celebration. Grimes shows celestial ambivalence to those who might put her “back on the shelf” or who only like her when they think she’s “looking sad”. Artangels is the equivalent of shaking up a bottle of fizzy drink, untwisting the lid, and letting the sweetness spray in all directions. The stickiness coats those who want to be coated, and annoys those who only came to the party to look good.
Grimes is simply “looking for a human to reciprocate” and as the flawed being I am, I now fully submit to the manic sound of Artangels and openly apologise for taking so long to do so. I never expected Grimes to “flounder” – she is a terrific writer and producer – but I was too quick to judge her marvellous version of ‘Realiti’. If you’ve made a similar mistake, I suggest you atone by dying your hair baby pink, putting on some roller skates, and gliding through the streets to Grimes idiosyncratic electronic excellence.
Grimes, please accept my sincere apologies.
Kate Crudgington (aka Wannabe Art Angel)