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I lean back and press play. A choir of angels flap their platinum wings. Their voices coo like tuned turbines. Boucher leads the cherubim with her liquid-mercury voice. It is beautiful, and incontrovertibly Grimes.
I leave the paradisiacal halls of laughing and not being normal and see the white-with-sunlight shores and skyscrapers of California. The song is synthetic and sexy-unreal, with its plastic beat and girlie girl, pink-on-pink pop. And then Boucher throws in a bit of taiwanese vitriol in the form of Scream. Aristophanes growls in guttural mandarin over some lurid riffage.
The first three songs are demonstrative of the sheer diversity of Art Angels sonic pallette. Rather than being a unidimensional barbie-doll sculpted by male-mattel, Grimes has proven that she is singular and free. She is seemingly untouched by the big-wig, little-dick male producers that claim ultimate pop-power.
But not only that, Grimes is effectively redrawing the lines that demarcated the writeable from the unwriteable. The silly boundaries and binaries that delineated ‘this’ from ‘that’ collapse when she waves her wand.
But, Grimes has always been this way. In 2012, Boucher famously cloistered herself up in a dank apartment for nine days; her abstinence from food, sleep or human congress becoming the breeding grounds for Visions’ kooky hypno-pop. At that time, Boucher might as well have been an eccentric canadian monk with a penchant for GarageBand. Such was her success that she became known as the lofi pop auteur who had undermined and then innovated the industry’s artefact of a business model.
This time, Boucher has swept away the murk and dust that Visions’ psycho-psychedelic darkness had produced. Ultimately, she has created a context to showcase her point to counterpoint sonic mobility, her more-threads-than-egyptian-cotton melodies, and the dislocated acrobatics of her beautiful voice.
Artangels is built in two halves. The first half perfectly accompanies that before-the-party innocence you exude when you hop into the uber in a crimped and ironed pastel co-ord. The second half is the sex-beast you become after downing 23 ABC shots (you actually look like a pinging hippogryph in Mcdonald’s Moschino). It is great.
I have already preened myself in front of the mirror whilst singing the slightly misandric Kill V. Maims, thinking of the naughty boys I can hurt as a Gwen Stefani-like, cheerleader chant bounces over a super-inflated beat. Boucher and Janelle Monae on Venus Fly had me flicking my sleeves and staring at random strangers with such royal bombast.
At the end of the day, Grimes has given us a marvellous compendium – a pop archive of difference. Not many artists can successfully track the jagged path from lofi dreamwaver to bright-pop auteur. Boucher has taken from a miscellany of influences to generate a musical vision of glorious width and depth.
But most importantly, it tosses the real, raging persona of the artangel herself amongst the sweet, plastic mess that is pop. And, Grimes wins.