Grimes

Are we allowed to post about this, or is it Brother David’s kick off? Feel free to tell me to sling it and I’ll delete.

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First impression, I’m really not sure. It’s pretty way out in terms of pop, even electronic pop. In fact it seems almost like an album of intersting electronic stuff where she’s a guest vocalist. The vocals are drowned in fx so much and sit back in the mix a lot so it’s difficult to to really work out what’s being said or what the sentiment is, so it’s not really connecting with me on the first listen. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some really cool sounds in there, and there’s a lot to love. I think it definitely feels like an album that needs some investment in time in order to appreciate it, but I thought I’d post this up either way, as first impressions are interesting when you look back. I’d go as far to say that I’m often surprised how much some I’ve abolsutely hated at first have gone on to be some real favourites (off the top of my head Hot Chip’s The Warning… yeah I know!).

 

Anyway, intriguing choice Brother David. I have read a few things about Grimes before I’d heard her music and I’ll be honest when I say some of it really grated. The whole “ooh, I’m so creative, and I express myself through my music, but I’m crazy and i’ve done lots of drugs and I make my own clothes… etc etc”. YAWN. So I’m fighting my own preconceptions here too.

 

I look forward to getting to know it better, and to see what everyone else thinks.

13 comments

  1. misterstory

    That’s why its dangerous to learn to read! Yup. She’s a cock of huge proportions. But this album is very good. If you’re expecting ‘pop’ then this isn’t it. It is what it is and if we’re not careful then we’ll end up creating a sub sub sub genre for her. To me its an extension of what The Knife / Fever Ray started years ago. She does use her voice as she uses other sounds so it does sit low in the mix and full of FX but that doens’t bother me at all and is very reminiscent of Fever Ray (just nowhere near as dark).The album does take some listening. I was not sure at first. I’ve had this for 3 months now but i love it now and it is on constant rotation. Silvia loves one of the tracks too which helps.Give it some time. Show it some love and try to pretend you never read the interview!

  2. Guy Hornsby

    Oh don’t get me wrong, I read it, digested it, rolled my eyes and then moved on. I’m sure a lot of the hot air is as much a product of the press trying to depserately come up with someone that’s a bit ‘different’ then bending it as far as they can. I’m sure if she was Scandinavian I’d have sighed a lot less!I’ve liked the Knife and Fever Ray in the past from what I’ve heard, but also shared the same "oh look, they’re being wilfully ker-ay-zee" feeling there. And while some of their stuff is amazing, some of it is very ethereal and thin too. I’m going to give it some proper listening of course. I’m all for interesting electronic stuff that crosses over. It’s the reason I like stuff like Matthew Dear, Gold Panda (though that’s more instrumental), Caribou…. I get the whole ‘voice as an instrument’ thing as well, but it just felt a bit too drowned in fx at the time. But I’ll come back in a few listens time.

  3. misterstory

    I must confess …. 90% of what i listen to has the voice very low in the mix. Im a a sucker for not being able to make out words 🙂

  4. Guy Hornsby

    I have no real preference, it depends on what fits the music. But I’d also lie if I said lyrics are really important to me in a lot of the music I listen to. Good music + crap lyrics = average record. Good music + good lyrics = really good record. But if it fits the music I couldn’t care less if they’re mumbling incoherently.

  5. David Allison

    Guy, I started like from a point of really not being sure about it. And she sure does come across as annoying in interviews. I started off listening to this as background music. Caz really likes her, so I gave her a whirl. And there’s a lot that should annoy me – the treated vocals, the familiar electro influences.But then I find myself wanting to listen again. Why? I’m not sure. And then I start to realise she’s pulled off quite a trick – properly atmospheric electro with some pretty killer tunes on there. And all of a sudden I’m listening to it all the time.I think, like Twin Shadow (which, by the way, I’m now OBSESSED with), it takes time to reveal itself. It’s a subtle record, but it’s very innovative. If you like Hot Chip, then I think Grimes will win you over in the end…

  6. Nolan Kane

    I’ve been really getting involved in this. It’s a really good choice. It’s not what I fully expected but it a good way. I have found it really good to have on when having people around or when I’m cleaning the house. My only negative about it is that it’s not the best to listen to on your own in the car or on an iPod. I’m not sure if it’s the heavy re-verb on her voice or what but there’s something about it. As I say, great choice and I’d reccomend it for sure!

  7. Guy Hornsby

    I’ve listened a couple more times now, and while it’s growing on me, and I don’t really have an issue with the ‘vocals’ as much as I did first time round, I think the bit that actually annoys me still are the really high pitched pieces, that are drenched in reverb. I just geniunely don’t like them at the moment. For me, the rest is quite beguiling, but these just stick out like a sore thumb and – at the moment – really spoil what’s a quite betwitching sound. But just like before, I think these will wear off over time, and I’ll appreciate it more. I just think on quite a few of the songs they’re just superfluous, almost like some sort of trademark, which she doesn’t need, as the music’s just fine without them.

  8. David Allison

    Guy, I know what you mean. I started feeling that way. But I kind of love it all now. Nolan, glad you’re enjoying. There’s something about it, isn’t there?

  9. misterstory

    Nobody’s mentioned the fact that the cover art is the least congruous coupling with the music i’ve ever come across!

  10. Guy Hornsby

    I’m guessing she drew it, being sooooooo behemian and artistic? Looks like a bad heavy metal t-shirt.

  11. Guy Hornsby

    I’m continuing to persevere with this, but there’s a nagging feeling it’s just not going to gel. I think the songs and production are good, there’s some really great grooves and beats and some interesting sonic stuff going on, but the vocals aren’t proving easy to get used to, if anything they’re grating more with each listen. It’s odd, I love stuff by the Knife and Fever Ray, (though I can’t claim to be that knowledgeable about them) but Grimes’ stuff seems just unfocussed. Yes, it’s drowned in reverb, and layered, but that’s been done by plenty of other people. But for one, it’s not in tune, and if that’s on purpose, to be less polished, then it just sticks out like a sore thumb for me. And her melodies, the way the vocal is used just seems at odds with the rest of the music sometimes rather than in tune with it. The speeded up stuff just annoys me and it’s all a bit simplistic. There’s none of the haunting, or cold and detached feeling you have with some of the Scandies, and it just seems, despite all the production a bit ‘safe’. Not sure if this is because she’s still learning (or did someone else produce it?)Basically, I just don’t really find I connect with this. Plain and simple. Sorry brothers. Jack White on the other hand…

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