Grimes: Miss Anthropocene (4AD) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, September 29th, 2023  

Miss Anthropocene


Apr 16, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

After five years’ wait, Grimes’ fifth record has arrived with a heavier shift toward slower, darker jams from the madcap electric pop that captured hearts on her last album, Art Angels.

Miss Anthropocene carries with it an overarching concept about climate change, but is difficult to track by the music alone; the songs were said to be about “different embodiments of human extinction,” but those themes are difficult to pin down, even amid the apocalyptic scenario we find ourselves in right now. (Lyrics such as the menacing, repeated “Unrest is in the soul/We don’t move our bodies anymore” of “Darkseid” are intriguing, but it’s up to listeners to unlock the rest of the song’s meaning as the verses are rapped in another language.) The low-key “You’ll miss me when I’m not around” can best be described as an ultra-chill suicide anthem, which isn’t something anyone needed. In some places, the downbeat vibe can almost be mistaken for lethargy, when tracks meander on so far they seem to lack a destination. Opener “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth (Art Mix)” rides on waves of sticky, thumping bass, but the whispered vocals and melody start to feel tuned out well before the song stretches too far into its six-minute runtime.

The gloomy vibes abate in the record’s middle tracks—musically, at least, if not lyrically. The grimly titled “Violence” is an upbeat piece of catchy dance music. “Delete Forever” is comprised of some of the album’s saddest subject matter, and is a lo-fi, live-recorded acoustic number that’s loose, less polished, and sounds unlike anything we’re accustomed to with Grimes. (But, hey, we like this!) Meanwhile, “4ÆM” is a wild burst of the calculated, electronic pop mayhem that’s for the fans who were hoping for a direct sequel to what so many of us loved on the last two albums, with thrilling shifts in style and an almost extra-terrestrial aesthetic. The record closes, too, with the beautiful “IDORU (Art Mix),” leaving listeners with a hopeful glimmer that’s gorgeous but highly uncharacteristic of most of what came before it. For an artist whose past two albums were as impeccably curated as they were produced, the non-cohesiveness of Miss Anthropocene is bit of a disappointment, in spite of the record’s highlights. (

Author rating: 5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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