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Visions
Grimes Visions
Released 9 March 2012
Producer Grimes
Label 4AD
Length 48:04
Genre Electronic
Website www.grimesmusic.com
71

2012 is the time for Grimes. Having tinkered away in her bedroom, producing two free to download albums over the last couple of years, Visions is the cut that she has chosen to officially unveil to the world. Already, its allure has been proven,  and this belle du jour and her blunt-cut bangs are currently courting every respectable music mag. As stylistically striking as La Roux, her music doesn’t quite pack the same punch. If Eleanor Jackson is a defiant disco elf, then Claire Boucher is a Harajuku pixie, bright-eyed on MDMA and spiked with sugary MDNA.

Single, 'Genesis', is one of the album’s stronger moments. A shimmery disco number, its fluttering vocals are solidified by its robotic bass. There is an almost oriental feel underpinning the piece, which scribbles glassy-eyed Manga gals and shifts across technicolor soundscapes.

'Oblivion', 'Visiting Statue' and outro 'Know the Way' continue in the  geisha girl vein. This can be cloying at times, although it must be said, the former channels electro-poppers, The Knife, to ecstatic effect.

Opener, 'Infinite Love Without Fulfilment' is similarly lightweight, but manages to muster up a bit more attitude in the style of sadly missed one-hit-wonder woman, Amerie.

There is at least some shade to the saccharine overtones of Visions, both 'Eight' and 'Circumabient' veering into Simian Mobile Disco territory. Their dated sound may be testament to the fact that these tracks have been a work in progress, and would perhaps have sounded more at home, spinning on a Crawdaddy turn table, five years earlier.

It may be due to some strategic knob-twiddling, but the girl’s vocals are damn good. 'Colour of Moonlight' is Annie Lennox meets Alice Glass, and 'Nightmusic' glistens like Goldfrapp gone bad. 'Be a Body' is another standout track, echoing 'Like a Prayer' era Madonna, edged in Kate Bush falsetto. The menacing undertone is dark enough to have Crystal Castles quaking in their Converse.

Perhaps Visions downfall is that although Grimes has emerged from her attic bedroom, it does still sound like it was produced on a laptop. There are so many ideas, and so many effects, that many of the tracks just fizzle into a whimsical mist, before ever getting going. The sound is there, the songs just aren’t.

- Deirdre Flannery