"Miss Anthropocene" by Grimes
“Miss Anthropocene” by Grimes


Grimes shoots for high concept but never gets past the D n B.

Miss Anthropocene is the wily-eyed singer’s fifth album and finds her kicking her sound further out. It’s a party album for the fall of man, something to dance on the ashes of yesteryear to while Gaia chokes on plastic wrap.


Grimes is the sonic pet name for Claire Elise Boucher who started her music career in 2010, but really blew the fuck up with her third album, Visions. Miss Anthropocene is the final Grimes album for the label 4AD, following Art Angels and Visions.


The album charges up with “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth – Art Mix.”

Boucher’s voice sails through a dark soundscape against a slow-dubby beat that twitches the limbs. Grimes raps like a sped-up pixie on “Darkseid.” “We don’t love our bodies anymore,” she sings over a heavy drum ‘n’ bass beat with a devastating down-groove. By the end she sounds like an Egyptian goddess arising from the sand. 


Her voice is the main trigger throughout Miss Anthropocene. It’s breathy, ecstatic, alarm-calling and always dying for comfort. She’s a banshee in distress stepping around the palpitating beats and melting electronic detours.


The third track, “Delete Forever,” is the one that does not belong.

It’s an acoustic lite-rock song that hits like early-2000s Avril Lavigne. In an alternate world I could see this spending a few weeks at, maybe, #5 on Total Request Live. But it’s 2020 and this song is just not great. “Violence” returns to the pulsating heart beat rhythm with Grimes going sex siren singing, “And I like it like that / Said I like it like that.” Alright.


“4ÆM” captures the album’s peak uniqueness in sound. Grimes sings in fading halos to a rhythm that pulled from a lost ancient world. It’s a blasting grind like an old house mix of Nine Inch Nails or Prodigy from the 90s. A single piano plays in a dark room for “New Gods.” Grimes’ vocals pull the guts from every word.


The concluding “IDORU” gets stuck on a blasting beat, two notes plunging back and forth on the keyboard.

Grimes sings out of her depth, like an anime character riding a tornado. The rhythm is coke-snorted up and feels like a ride until about three minutes in and then you just want off.


Miss Anthropocene was an attempt of a concept album wherein an “anthropomorphic goddess of climate change” does something. That may have been the aim, but what we have here is really just a pretty cool dance album. Nothing in the lyrics immediately provides an avenue for discussion of an issue like climate change. But it does make me wish I were in a blacked out fuzzy state when it hurls through the speakers.

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