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Tove Lo - Blue Lips (Album Review)

Friday, 24 November 2017 Written by Huw Baines

Double albums are rarely a good idea. There’s just no easy way to get around that much excess. With ‘Lady Wood’ and ‘Blue Lips’, though, Tove Lo has become the latest artist to make a solid case for tackling a surfeit of like-minded material by splitting it down the middle and releasing the segments at separate intervals.

On ‘Lady Wood’, unveiled last autumn, the Swedish songwriter slipped seamlessly into a club-ready mode defined by sex, drugs and absolute candour. It’s apparent from its wry title through its early moves that ‘Blue Lips’ is cut from the same cloth.

Disco Tits, its first single, is a dancefloor imperative to rival Cool Girl: “I’m sweat from head to toe. I’m wet through all my clothes. I’m fully charged, nipples are hard, ready to go.”

There’s so much fun to be had when Lo is in this mood and the production - thudding bass, sparkling synths - ensures maximum impact.

Songs Like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell also drive home her way with a melody, its words twisting over sparse keys, and therein lies the only real issue with both ‘Lady Wood’ and ‘Blue Lips’: they only tell half the story.

‘Queen of the Clouds’, Lo’s debut, had fun and debauchery by the truckload, but it also traded in inventive, powerhouse pop songwriting. ‘Blue Lips’ is very good at what it does, but ‘Lady Wood’ did it just as well. As a whole they’re a little one-paced.

Had this record sought to place these themes in fresh surroundings - or to borrow a little more of Lo’s semi-retired anthemic streak - then perhaps the two halves would have made a more formidable whole.

Still, that’s a clinical reading of an album that works best in the moment. From its pulse-pounding opening to its more introspective denouement, ‘Blue Lips’ delivers on its promise: no filter, no excuses not to dance.





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