Album Review: Grimes – Miss Anthropocene

Claire Elise Boucher, known professionally as Grimes, is a Canadian singer/songwriter and musician noted for their diverse and varied music styles. Today, I will be reviewing their album ‘Miss Anthropocene’ which was released on February 21, 2020. 

‘So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth” (Art Mix)’ opens with a distortion feedback, before bleeding into a deep, heavy, bass and percussion driven beat filled melody. Grimes voice overlaid on top makes for an almost haunting dreamscape. I love her vocals, they just sort of fill you up, soulful and deep, and resonate set against the ambient backdrop. I’ll admit to only having a passing familiarity with Grimes’s music prior to this album, but with tracks like this, they’ve for sure got another fan. 

‘Darkseid” (with 潘PAN)’ is darker and heavier, where the precious track has a lightness, backed up by Grimes’s angelic voice, this has more weight and tension, with a nice sting that helps to build dread. I am super taken by 潘PAN’s sections, she raps in Mandarin, with quick fire delivery, that really works, acting as a perfect counterpoint for Grimes’s slower, softer delivery. I love the frenzied energy backed up by the heavy, almost overbearing instrumental backing. 

‘Delete Forever’ is very different from the previous two tracks; a soft, acoustic guitar leads us in and perfectly supports Grimes’ voice. I already touched on her vocals before but she has a voice that’s sweet and uplifting, perfect to portray both the depths of sadness, and the ecstatic beauty and joy that life sometimes presents. Overall she is a very capable performer, and it’s tracks like this that give her a chance to show a variety of sides to her voice and music. 

‘Violence’ returns to the dark and heavy vibe of previous tracks but with a fast, and building percussive undertone that really shakes things up. I really enjoyed this track, it sort of combines the best elements of everything that’s came before it in the album to create a really pure and resonant song that really sticks with you. 

‘4ÆM’ has a very percussive driven beat, very different to the previous tracks, shaking up the whole album as we move into its second half (assuming you’re listening to the standard version) and the vocals are just sensational, they possess the ability to truly enchant you as a listener. It’s very close but I think this track is my personal favourite on the album. 

‘New Gods’ has a really strong intro, a staccato beat which leads us into another dreamy vocal number, deep drawn out singing that builds and flows over you gently. It’s a very powerful track and is for sure one of those tracks you’re best just experiencing, rather than trying to just listen. I’ll qualify that a little by saying that when I review music I listen to each track…a lot before writing but occasionally there’s a song like this which will prompt me to just go sit down, put the track on and just let it happen rather than trying to consciously process it. 

‘My Name Is Dark’ has a guitar driven intro that reminds me of the theme from Batman Beyond, and now that I firmly can’t get that out of my head I’ll go on to state that this track really does justice to the haunting vocal quality i’ve referenced above, it’s the right balance of unsettling and beautiful to really create a unique impact on the listener. 

‘You’ll Miss Me When I’m Not Around’ keeps up with the slightly offbeat energy, the guitar in this is good, but there’s something slightly irregular about it that really works for the track, and I like the different vocal deliveries throughout, they combine well and create a really rich track. So as I said above ‘4ÆM’ is my favourite on the album but this is a really close second for me. 

‘Before the Fever’ continues the trend of alternating style, creating a deep, ambient track with some powerful vocals, backed up by light percussion that breaks into some really awesome synthy melodies. This is another song that you kind of just need to experience. 

‘Idoru’ finishes up the standard album, if you’re interested I’d be up for taking a look at the full deluxe edition, but anyway is a really interesting song, which includes bird song, and Grimes, her voice matching the fluttering vocals of the birds to magnificent effect. I loved the electronic beats of this number, it really tied together the album really well. Overall, a strong conclusion to what has been a really powerful album, and I’m looking forward to more from Grimes. 

So that’s what I thought of Grimes album ‘Miss Anthropocene’ and if you want to check that out for yourself then head on over to Spotify. While you’re at it, make sure and support the artist by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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