Grimes_-_Art_AngelsGrimesArt Angels
By: Meghan Kearney
6 November 2015

Grimes’ fourth full-length Art Angels overflows with intense and strange pop tunes. The big teaser release of the “REALiTi” demo earlier in the year left the internet a-buzz. Now, nearing the end of 2015, Art Angels confirms the hopes of “REALiTi” fans; arguably one of the best albums of the year.

The quirky talent of Grimes is strong on this release, as in previous records, immediately visible on the super-pop banger “California.” Those easily recognizable, soothing vocals and a hint of Bollywood vibes kick the album off with an anti-love letter to the sunny, beach state. “California” sets the tone for a 14-track story of self-reflection, hardships of spotlight, and the battle between art and commodity.

“Flesh Without Blood,” another stand-out track on the album, sounds on the surface like a breakup ballad. A tweet from Grimes makes us think differently. “Flesh without blood isn’t about a breakup! I don’t write about love anymore.” Digging deeper, are the words more self-reflective than they appear? Perhaps an ode to all those trying to make art as a career?

“Your voice, it had the perfect flow
It got lost when you gave it up though
Cause you want money
You want fame”

 

“Kill v. Maim,” the noisey, super-synthy powerhouse toes a line of uncomfortably scary. Vocals weave between high-pitched chants and rageful screams. The unease, quickly becomes addictive as what feels like an evil k-pop cheerleading squad asks you to “B-E-H-A-V-E Aggressive!”

The latter half of the album mellows out, with the beachy-vibing title track followed by “Easily,” a simple and soft piano-fronted melody, where vocals delve back to calm and soothing Grimes. “Life in the Vivid Dream” is beautifully haunting, with dark lyrics that Grimes has admitted reflects the apathy of many to a looming environmental crisis. The album closes with another gorgeous electronic, catchy pop tune “Butterfly.” Synths mixed with fading, echoed vocals reminiscent of good, good 90’s pop.

Overall Art Angels roller coasters around an expansive range of emotions, resembling a push and pull of good and evil in its sound and message. Perhaps one of Grimes’ most well-rounded records yet; addictive from start to finish.

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