Grimes has been taking a lot of grief for her latest single, “Go”:
Originally written on spec for Rihanna, Grimes ended up recording it herself, along with sometime collaborator Blood Diamonds. It is a bangin’ tune*, the next step in her natural transition out of the witch house and into the mainstream, just as the mainstream has expanded to embrace such previous outliers as Grimes, Lorde, Iggy Azalea, etc. “Go” raised my already high state of anticipation for the long awaited follow up to her almost three year old album, Visions.
It might be an even longer wait, though. Grimes told the New York Times, “It sucked, so I threw it out and started again.”**
If she honestly believes this, fine. I am willing to wait as long as it takes until she is satisfied with her work. However, it seems this might be a reaction to the criticism of “Go.” As she also told the Times, “It upsets a lot of my fans, and I get why it upsets them. Everybody was like, ‘Oh, Grimes is pandering to the radio.’” As if that were a bad thing. Apparently, these foul weather fans just don’t want to see Grimes step into the pop spotlight.
But Grimes has always been an unabashed pop fan. Just a glance at her Tumblr page shows what a big fan she is of Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift and many other big pop stars, especially Beyoncé and Dolly Parton.
In a fascinating interview at last year’s VMA awards with Kathleen Hanna, Grimes explained her view of “guilty pleasures”:
I really hate the term guilty pleasure because I think it kind of implies, I mean it implies that you’re taking someone else’s judgment of that thing so seriously that you would feel guilty for liking it genuinely or whatever. So I don’t know, I don’t really have guilty pleasures ’cause I either like stuff or I don’t, generally.”
So why is Grimes now taking someone else’s judgment so seriously that she feels guilty about her own work?
* yes, I realize I am too old to use the word “bangin’.”
** Grimes has since tweeted that she trashed the album some time ago, which would make it before the release of “Go”:
Pitchfork sucks. I scrapped that album like 7 months ago lol. “music journalism” smdh … haha
— grimes 0_0 (@Grimezsz) September 12, 2014