Album Rewind - Art Angels

November 6, 2017



Today marks two years since the release of Grimes' fourth album, Art Angels. Grimes, a Canadian musician who also acts as a producer, engineer and songwriter has had three previously released albums which are very experimental, guaranteed to be nothing like you have ever heard before. Art Angels has been described as being more accessible than her past work, but she still carries over some of her more avant-garde elements.


The track opens with a track entitled "laughing and not being normal." The song opens with an electronic boom and has a very orchestra-centered intro.  Grimes features opera like vocals, which is very compelling. The song has minimal lyrics but gets its point across as being a strong transitional song. The track very successfully creates buildup for the next.


"California" has a strong pop like vibe and catchy beat. It is a really danceable and fun track. Grimes' long vocal stretch over the bridge is really strong and beautiful. Lyrics like; "And when the ocean rises up above the ground Baby I'll drown,", really emulates the beachy Cali vibe she was going for. Overall, the track is really poppy and bright. This is a track that is well produced and enjoyable but not necessarily one her more experimental pieces. 


"Scream" has a solid hard rock vibe, almost Missy-Elliot-y. The song featuring a Taiwanese rapper, Aristophanes who sounds really bad-ass and intense, perfect for this type of track. There is a lot of literally screaming, making the song dynamic and action-packed


"Flesh Without Blood" is one of the standout tracks on the LP. It is infectiously catchy. The track contains a lot of bass and electric presence carrying over the bad-ass vibe, but still manages to be a really bright tune. 


"Belly Of The Beat" - creates a pop-fantasy vibe and adds acoustic guitar and keys for a stripped down feel. Grimes sings, "I've been thinking I can feel the world today, Everybody dies to the point they arise and dance like angels," The track is bright and really uplifting. The acoustic guitar transitions into a heavier electric for the chorus, to continue over the trend of mashing up off-track types of sounds in one communal and unified piece.


"Kill V. Maim" has some identifiable punk elements, but the vocals on the song has Melanie Martinez type vibes, creating almost a sarcastic and cynical tone. The overall vibe of the song sort of is reminiscent of Charli XCX's Break The Rules, creating a mockery of good behavior. This song really stands out, and is most importantly, fun. 


"Artangels" begins with a riff of guitar elements- sounding very classic. The track is a lovey-dovey song with a lot of interesting elements to really deconstruct the classic love song.  Her vocals really standout in this track. The harmonizations are everything, especially right at the beginning. 


"Easily" is heavily a piano tune, her vocals sound really raw and strong. Lyrically, the track is about how her love comes "easily." It is a truly soothing track. Drums are added later but is still a really soft and pop-filled track. Synth is added as well to add to the wonderland-type vibe.


"Pin" arrives right on time. The track is about riding around with a love and having loads of adventure, but how "it was too good to be true." Key and synth presence drive the track but has electric guitar and drums to tie it all together. Another fun tune.


"Realiti" is a song about childhood and adventure, and the reality of the beauty of nature. Grimes showcases a high vocal range in this track. The mixing of her voice is really dynamic and interesting. Synth and electric elements make this story well told. The ending bridge is really solid, and leads into the next tune perfectly.


"World Princess Part ll" almost has a video game sounding feel with the wind-up sounds and the electronic background exudes a really playful feel. The song is about breaking free from a hardship, and contrasts with the fun sounds mixed in in a really compelling way. 


"Venus Fly" features Janelle Monae, who can instantly add some fun and hip vocals,  She adds a lower vocal range, which obviously contradicts the unique high pitch of Grimes' pipes. The song is about rude and bitchy people and is a really collaborative and fun track. The Instrumentals are really unique and electrifying, and the two work well together. 


"Life in the Vivid Dream" is a track that is stripped down and focuses solely on her vocals, which feel really raw and genuine. The song is about letting go to love. Overall a really strong track.


"Butterfly" is the  closing track, and like majority of the album is a bright and upbeat track. There is nothing super impactful about this, but has an explosive electric chorus and features lyrics about looking for the beauty in the world. A truly positive and uplifting performance to end on.


Overall, the album is bright and fun, incorporating a lot of traditional pop elements, as well as blending in electric and hard rock. Each song is unique in its own way, and each track really pulls from different genres. This is definitely more approachable than any of Grimes' previous LPs, but still has a feel for her unique touch to music. A fun listen for sure, and still can paint a vivid picture two years later.





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