6. Grimes, “We Appreciate Power”
It was a big year for Grimes, for all the dumbest reasons. Good for her for having some fun with Elon Musk, but in a year where a lot of her admirers – myself included – eagerly awaited the follow-up to 2015’s Art Angels, arguably the best album of the decade thus far, she attracted the attention of the global mainstream media for her relationship with the real life Lyle Lanley, their appearance at the Met gala, her bizarre exchange with Azealia Banks, and her, uh, interesting opinions about Tesla employees. Thankfully that all died down enough by November and those who enjoy Claire Boucher’s music were able to delve into her crazily catchy new track “We Appreciate Power”. And what a polarizing track it is. A full-bore immersion in ‘90s industrial rock/metal, it’s all about the crunch of distorted guitar, its riff echoing Fear Factory, it’s martial groove reminiscent of classic Nine Inch Nails. At five and a half minutes it flirts with repetition, but I love the way she lets the song unfold, as she sings the lyrics like it’s an anthem for androids. There’s a total Gattaca vibe going on and she and co-conspirator HANA opine, “You’re not even alive if you’re not backed up on a drive.” It’s an unexpected return by Grimes, but she aces this track on every level. I can’t wait to hear what she brings in 2019.