Multi-platinum awarded artists, Tove Lo, returns to us with her amazing album “Blue Lips (lady wood phase II)”. It is a very charged and high energy album, with heavy use of synths and big kicks to build out a big festival atmosphere around the vocals. The lead single ‘disco tits’ has already surpassed 5 million streams on YouTube, which is absolutely massive. The track itself covers a very interesting topic with the vocals, seemingly describing an experience of ecstasy relating to music and dancing. The production of the track is somewhere between SBTRKT and Kaytranada, with real groove tones layered in, yet that punchy element SBTRKT is known for.
The following track ‘shedontknowbutsheknows’ is a bit more gentle and not as big, it has a much more electric RnB feel to it, which compliments ‘disco tits’ quite nicely. This song however is more about romance than the intense sweat of drug fuelled partying. Following from this the energy shifts straight back into festival anthem with ‘shivering gold’, heavy synths and beautiful break downs create this anthem, laying on her own charged vocal filled with sexual connotations, giving the whole song an element of lust and seduction.
The album then turns to take it down a bit and get you back into more a chilled groove with ‘dont ask dont tell’ and ‘stranger’, both wonderful pieces of conceptual work that help tie the whole album together. Bringing you back up feels, she hits us with ‘bitches’, which is a borderline rap over a real kick heavy number, strung out with long chords to really add impact to the vocals.
‘Romantics’ is a very RnB style track, featuring vocals from Daye Jack. As the title would suggest, this song is about romance and love and the introduction of substance to a relationship, it’s a very cool track. ‘struggle’ comes in out of nowhere and really hits you unexpectedly, with the context of depression intertwined all throughout it. It starts off really slow, then when the vocals come in, you can feel her pain and her struggles that have otherwise not been so evident across the album. It’s a very well curated number.
The album wraps up on ‘have you got drugs?’, another emotionally charged piece from Tove Lo. It’s definitely more of a slow jam and continues the themes of drugs and sex that have been prevalent across the album. It too has the festival style drop, which I feel is a bit out of place for this track, it could have definitely been given more justice with a more raw sound and less synths.
Overall it’s a great album, it ticks the boxes of feel good, deep contextual vocals, accessible and well thought out. The downsides for me were that it lacked variety in a sense, after listening to the whole album you kind of felt like you were listening to the same track over and over. It could definitely have done with greater instrumental variety, less synths and more raw sounds. My favourite tracks were ‘struggle’ and ‘stranger’, I feel these gave a really nice insight into the artist that is Tove Lo, which were really deep and interesting. All in all I’d offer a 3.5 star rating, due entirely to the diversity issue. I look forward to hearing more from this talented individual.
“Blue Lips” is out now via Universal Music.