The Austin Chronicle

ACL Live Shot: Grimes

By Luke Winkie, October 6, 2013, 10:29am, Earache!

There’s been enough time between the 2012 release of Visions and the second day of the first weekend of the 2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival that I could actually start to convince myself that Grimes had crafted a fantastic album.

Eventually, sustained praise breaks us all down, and watching pint-sized British Columbian Claire Boucher bounce around her electronics like a caffeinated imp remains one of the more memorable images in pop music. If nothing else, Grimes is easy to root for.

There are immeasurable highs to Boucher’s music. The moment the beat to “Oblivion” skittered over the ACL throb will be a personal top-five moment to 2013. Unfortunately, Boucher just doesn’t have that many great songs right now.

Visions stands as an intriguing, occasionally brilliant, but undeniably flawed album, and no amount of positive momentum can hide the fact that for ridiculously long stretches of her live show, Grimes’ music sounds like an angry robot belching into a trash compactor. For an artist of such profound moments of pop ingenuity, too many of her fans are left half-conscious by the deep cuts.

That doesn’t change the depths of her talent. There’s something almost intimidating about watching her adjust her vast electronic arsenal. Despite what we may want to believe, she’s still a songwriter coming into her own.

I’ll bet the Grimes show you see in 2016 will blow the 2013 version out of the water.

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