Grimes Miss Anthropocene
Published Feb 19, 2020Grimes has described Miss Anthropocene as a nu-metal-inspired album about human extinction and the anthropomorphic goddess of climate change. Listening to these ten songs, however, that's certainly not the takeaway.
Rather, this sounds like the logical followup to 2015's Art Angels. It's a little darker and heavier than that prior record's vibrant palette, but it still has everything we've come to expect from Grimes: "4ÆM" pivots between ethereal ambience and banging beats; "Violence" has a thudding four-on-the-floor pulse; and "Delete Forever" expands on the songwriter's flirtations with country-pop. Her production relies a little too heavily on swampy reverb, but beautiful hooks still glimmer through the muck. Most notably, blissful closer "IDORU" finds the through-line connecting her formative experiments to her more recent pop polish.
Any lyrics about human extinction are mostly lost amidst the echo and Grimes' high-pitched vocal runs. The only cut that really delivers on the promise of apocalyptic nu-metal is "We Appreciate Power," although that's been relegated to a bonus track and isn't included on the standard tracklist.
For anyone who has been following her in the press — tabloid romances, eyebrow-raising comments on A.I., claims of experimental eye surgery — the real surprise of Miss Anthropocene is that it actually sounds like a fairly standard Grimes album. She's a become a controversial public figure whose whole persona is like one big multimedia art project, so this is a welcome return to her wheelhouse. (Crystal Math)