ALBUM REVIEW: Tove Styrke – Kiddo
Sweden is delivering us some great pop acts at the moment and the newest addition to that list is electropop songstress Tove Styrke. After coming third on Swedish Idol in 2009 she is finally where she wants to be as an artist and delivering a message of female empowerment. “Kiddo” is an electropop affair that doesn’t rely on metaphors or cheap gimmicks. She tells it straight with an honest songwriting technique that is very popular with Swedish musicians. This album addresses her looks on society as a whole with a slight feminist approach. Opening strong with the 90’s RNB influenced “Ain’t Got No” the album draws you in with a big hook and funky riffs that you can’t deny a little boogie to. “Snaren” follows that up with a more beat heavy approach with a hook that would fit perfectly in any club playlist. She pays homage to Beyonce with “to the left, to the left” references as well as name dropping the goddess. “Ego” is one of the most polished sounding pop tracks on the album as well as one of the most bad ass. She sings about a lover who is a tiny bit too in love with themselves. “I wanna hold you but you’re untouchable. Too cool, caught up in your ego” // “Wanna believe in you but you’re so far gone. Did you forget where you came from? I wanna love you but you’re making it impossible”. It has the “fuck you” attitude you have always wanted to give an old flame. She then gives us some old school Ting Tings vibes on the banger “Even If I’m Loud It Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking To You” which for many reasons shouldn’t work but the disjointed indie pop track is one of the strongest contenders on this LP. “Samurai Boy” has received good traction in promo leading up to the release but compared to the other tracks it fails to be memorable. “Borderline” oozes into your mind with a hypnotizing reggae influenced beat and gravitating hook. “I’m borederline happy and I’m borderline sad. I’m borderline good and I’m borderline bad”. Her vocal range is quite impressive but it’s her slight rapping in the boppy “Number One” that impresses with versatility. She strips it down on “Who’s Got News” to deliver the only electro ballad on this offering. The song is completely different to anything else on the record and shows a different vulnerability to the artist and her vocal delivery. “Do you know what it feels like when a heart is breaking? You call yourself a savior but nothing”. She reintroduces the reggae influenced beats on the ultra cool pop track “Burn” that oozes cool. But when you reach the last couple of songs the album starts sounding repetitive and fails to introduce any new ideas or strong moments. “Brag” and “Decay” are skip worthy while “Walking A Line” is enjoyable but not a standout.
“Kiddo” is an overall smart record with infectious and feel good pop tracks that will have you dancing away and rejoicing the slick sounds of Tove Styrke. This is a must have pop album of 2015 so make sure you discover this unique artist and help support Sweden’s takeover of the pop music scene.