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Grimes, Visions (4AD) ***
IT might be pristine, but the third album from Montreal electronica aficionado Claire Boucher is still a bit of a slog at time. There’s a fine line between beguiling and inaccessible, and Visions doesn’t always tread on the right side of it.
When it all comes together, as on the crisply ethereal Genesis, Oblivion and Massive Attack-esque Skin, the best bits of club culture, ‘90s pop and R&B are fashioned into something which sounds like a genuine step forward. But even talent sometimes needs a leash and Boucher zooms off on too many tangents to make Visions the album it could have been, while her wide-eyed, childlike vocals become a distraction rather than an attraction.
At times, she even sounds like the new Enya, which probably isn’t the intended outcome. Unexpected, uninhibited but uneven, Visions demonstrates that, with a bit more focus, Grimes could really shine.