Canadian singer and brains behind Grimes, Claire Elise Boucher, displays a vast amount of ingenuity and vocal talent in her most recent album, Art Angels. The album opens with “laughing and not being normal.” While this track is not exactly evocative of laughter, it matches its title by not being at all normal. This is largely due to Boucher’s extreme soprano and unintelligible lyrics. Following in this song’s wake, “California” maintains a unique flare with a quirky beat that is peppy and inventive. Boucher’s vocals are poppy and a bit more mainstream compared to the prior track, but the combination of her singing and the song’s unusual rhythm still produces a really creative sound that is also pleasant to the ear.
The next few tracks demonstrate a range of musical elements. Some are gritty and brutal, while others possess a quality of evanescent smoothness and others even incorporate an Indian twist. “Flesh without Blood” is an example of the latter; Boucher lends an ethereal quality with her vocals and mixes different scales to create an exotic sound. Later, in contrast to prior tracks, the song “Easily” diverges from the rest of the album by opening with some somber-toned piano chords, which are not heavily present in other songs on the album.
Towards the end of the album, “Life in the Vivid Dream,” adds yet another dynamic element by bringing down the tempo. This respite is brief, though, lasting only for a minute—the song literally clocks in at 1:29—before ushering in the closing track, “Butterfly.” This song features a playful, bouncy rhythm with a happy tone that nicely showcases the takeaway message, “I’ll never be a dream-girl.” On that note, Art Angels draws to a close, proving Boucher to be a funky artist with an eclectic array of songs and musical influences.