Verdict – 8.2
The third album by Canadian artist Claire Boucher, known as Grimes, was recorded entirely using Apple’s GarageBand by Boucher, and is a bizarre collection of sounds, ideas and vocals. Hard to define, the music ranges from dream pop/synthpop to the electronic and experimental, however these changes never feel out of place within the album. Creative and sensual, but immensely likeable (yet also easy to dislike), Visions was definitely one of the most unique and interesting records of 2012.
For a large majority of the album, the vocals are pretty much undecipherable, but her soaring vocals and lively production allow for you to be engrossed without paying much notice to the actual lyrics. Album highlight, “Genesis” builds from a slow chant-like verse with an infectious bassline, to a stellar end with layered vocals, a bubbly piano riff and a steady drum loop. The album’s best track lies in, “Oblivion”, the pop song of the year, has Boucher’s innocuous voice singing dark lyrics such as, “I never walk about after dark, it’s my point of view, ‘cause someone could break your neck, coming up behind you always coming and you’d never have a clue”, over top of fun and danceable production. The strength in her music is clearly shown here, allowing her music to be wildly accessible.
Album standout, “Vowels = Space and Time”, is a rarity in the album, with the entire song having lyrics that can be easily heard. This results in a stunning electro/synth pop song where you can define the layers and textures as the song progresses, great for aspiring producers. In such a sensual collection of songs, “Skin” stands out as her most intimate moment on the album. The production is simple but incredibly effective, and her vocals sound perfect for the song.
Probably was the year’s most polarizing album, Visions asks for an open mind, and for those listening with anything but, could find it tedious and lacking. For anyone else, this could well be one of their favourites from 2012. Containing some of the year’s best tracks, and an abundance of appeal, it is definitely worth giving a try if it interests you. A very well realized record by the fascinating Canadian.
Top Songs – “Genesis”, “Oblivion”, “Vowels = Space and Time”