The first track – which sounds like the score to an old Zelda game until Grimes sings like some kind of ghost pixie – opens up to the beginning of one of the best pop albums released this year. ‘California’ is like Taylor Swift went on holiday in Japan and took acid, and the following track ‘SCREAM’ featuring Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes is the inevitable bad trip. The single ‘Flesh without Blood’ is similarly Swift-esque but the depth and clarity in the production is breathtaking, as it is throughout whole album.
From that point onwards the album is nigh on flawless. Grimes’ ability to create such catchy tunes with the precision and detail of a classical composer carries through each song, alien level. Songs like ‘Kill V. Maim’ display the artist at her weirdest as an array of voices seeming like they belong to different personalities pierce through industrial style percussion and driving guitar lines.
However, there’s no lack of beautiful vocals on tracks like ‘Easily’ and ‘Life in the Vivid Dream’, which are otherworldly, harking back to the Visions era of the singer’s voice. ‘World Princess Part II’ is filled with components that you need to listen to precisely to properly appreciate alongside bizarre drumbeats that sound like they shouldn’t fit under pulsing electro but totally do. The final version of ‘REALiTi’ is just a masterpiece.
The risks Grimes has taken with chord progressions, production and her own vocals make what would be a brilliant pop album into something much more. Grimes has proven herself with singing, song writing, visual art and production; as a whole entity she’s looking unstoppable.
Maddy Hardman @