Album Review: Grimes’ ‘Miss Anthropocene’

Allison Harris

Canadian artist and producer Grimes is a bit of a weirdo. 

To create her critically acclaimed 2012 album, Visions, she infamously shut herself in her studio for nine days without food, sleep or visitors. In a description of her “wellness routine” in 2019, she claims to have removed a layer of film from her eyeballs to cure seasonal depression, and that her main source of cardio is sword fighting. 

Her new album, “Miss Anthropocene”, is no detraction from her niche as a bizarre, futurist pop artist. In fact, when she released her first single for this record in 2018, she explained it to Pitchfork as being from the “perspective of a Pro-A.I. Girl Group Propaganda machine who use song, dance, sex and fashion to spread goodwill towards Artificial Intelligence (it’s coming whether you want it or not).” 

Miss Anthropocene is a collection of 15 tracks, with four of them being slightly different versions of songs that appear earlier on the album. However, it takes just 11 songs to prove Grimes’ artistic prowess has done it again. 

Completely self produced, “Miss Anthropocene” contains tender, guitar-driven tracks in “Delete Forever” and “You’ll miss me when you’re not around,” as well as haunting, cinematic sounding songs like “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth- Art Mix.” “We Appreciate Power” featuring HANA, the aforementioned “Girl Group Propaganda” song, is a growling nu-metal track with an incredible guitar riff guaranteed to get stuck in your head. 

One of the strongest points of the record is “Violence- Original Mix” featuring i_o, where Grimes crafts an infectious dance-pop song that builds towards a breakdown meant to be felt on a club floor in the middle of the night. 

The album does not necessarily make for a casual listen. It feels sonically vast, like each song has different layers for your brain to digest. The inclusion of “Art” versus “Algorithm” mixes of the same song (that honestly sound nearly identical) would be much more effective if done as a full “Art” A-side and an “Algorithm” B-side of “Miss Anthropocene.”

Despite this, the richness of the sounds Grimes is able to create completely by herself displays the unique talent she’s had throughout her career. Miss Anthropocene feels like both a wholistic summary of the Grimes sound, as well as a primer for the direction pop and experimental music can go in the future. 

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