Grimes
Visions


4.0
excellent

Review

by mrbloke USER (6 Reviews)
May 20th, 2012 | 16 replies | 1,647 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: See you on a dark night.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Calling Grimes’ latest LP “Dream Pop” would be marginally fitting, given her atmospheric sounds, thumping drum machine beats and broad, looming synthesizers that would make for a dreamy and also poppy affair. Damn, it would be a much better tagline than “Post-Internet”. But Claire Boucher has composed herself a blend of all these elements but gives them a spooky, ghoulish coating that unexpectedly gets you at the core when really paying attention. In the dorkiest way possible, Visions can possibly be the first ever release in the “Nightmare Pop” genre.

All of the sounds on this album come from tried and true vintage drum machines and ancient midi keyboards, or one would think it so. Most of Visions is reminiscent to 1980s chart hits from a time when the keyboard was used for more than progressive rock accompaniment. In a cheap, two-cents way, this is pretty much a Madonna album that was self-written, self-produced, and had some experimentation on board. amongst all of the gear, the albums most quintessential instrument is Claire’s pixie-esque falsetto which is, 90 percent of the time, is slathered in reverb or on some occasions ran through a vocoder. It’s another case of the vocals becoming more than just lyrics holding a note and rather a means to make a stronger emotional or creative impact upon the listener, which is a hit or miss depending on musical taste or what you value most in singing. Yes the reverb does make the vocals intangible, but Claire’s vocals at their cleanest still sound nice and are still contributing to the albums dizzying atmosphere.

Back to the ghoulishness I was talking about. Some artists have a knack for taking something cute and cuddly and turning it into a monster. Grimes does it that way and vice versa. Songs like “Circumambient”, and “Colour Moonlight (Antiochus)” go on their way sucking in the listener with its catchy vibe, only to transform with a dissonant synth chord or some creepy yet cool vocal looping. The morbid yet bubbly standout “Oblivion” has Claire second guessing herself while strolling out at night, expecting someone to attack but giving a blind eye. This should be unsettling but the song is so tooth-achingly catchy, it becomes your most guilty pleasure, excluding Toddlers and Tiaras and japanese porn. “Nightmusic” starts off with a very haunting vocal choir, but when it seems all of the mood is gone, it comes back a full force with the use of a massive amount of gain on the vocals and synths giving it some of the albums most ghost-like qualities. Even when all seems emotionally stationary like on the sultry “Skin”, Grimes has some way to make things change so uniformly.

That’s not to say that this is a hard listen, because that is definitely not the case. Its still some catchy, well comprised, hyper-ambient pop. You can use it as a laidback break from listening to the latest Julianna Barwick or even the latest Tim Hecker, just to be able to relax while still giving your ears a sonic workout. This is also for those who want a break from the dreamiest of Dream pop acts like M83 or Beach House and would rather opt for the dark side from time to time.



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user ratings (533)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
derho (4.5)
A spectre is haunting dance music......

LudditeStereo (4.5)
A sonic horn of plenty from Pluto...

Conrad Tao EMERITUS (4.5)
Spacey, hypnotic parallel-universe pop, and so much more....


Comments:Add a Comment 
mrbloke
May 20th 2012



200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also wanted to include Bloom by Beach House and Returnal by Oneohtrix Point Never as suggestions but I hit enter on accident.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2012



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. I really want to like this but I'm struggling.

mrbloke
May 20th 2012



200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just let it happen AliW ;) also nice to see you're enjoying the new Beach House just as I am.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 20th 2012



7163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still my AOTY so far...though that may be more to the fact that I've listened to woefully little new music this year =/

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 20th 2012



7163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, the best descriptor I've heard for Grimes' brand of music is "cyborg pop." That just about hits the nail on the damn head.

Vespiion
May 20th 2012



1221 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Her voice is so versatile.

Digging: BADBADNOTGOOD - BBNG2

taylormemer
May 20th 2012



4916 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not that you can fix this but it's meant to be MIDI not "midi", for the same reason DVD is not "dvd". And in addition to that, there are numerous grammatical and punctuation errors.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2012



23800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cyborg pop omg hahaha

Genesis is still the best thing ever

Kellerdeck
May 20th 2012



1881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is excellent.

Maniac!
May 20th 2012



26250 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

album is shit.

paxman
May 20th 2012



4084 Comments


So is this any good?

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2012



23800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well it's either excellent or shit apparently.

paxman
May 20th 2012



4084 Comments


No, the review isn't perfect, as Taylor explained above, but I
think it's pretty good for only a second.

mrbloke
May 20th 2012



200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@taylormemer Now that you mention it, I should have remembered that. About those grammar and punctuation errors, I wrote this in a word processor like suggested, but I could not check grammatical errors. I'm not a big fan of semi-colons either.

taylormemer
May 21st 2012



4916 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just because you wrote this in a word processor doesnt alleviate the fact you need to manually check your review(s). We all make errors from time to time (staff included), but there's some stuff that could have been remedied with a simple check.

Not that I was suggesting otherwise, but in response, learn to like semi-colons. Saying you're not a fan of them is akin to saying you're not a fan of full stops or commas or hyphens. You may as well embrace all the writing tools in the arsenal for reasons which are obvious.

Eclecticist
May 21st 2012



3863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album.



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