ALBUM REVIEW: Tove Lo – Blue Lips
Tove Lo’s third studio album has kind of just gone under the radar completely. Over the past three and a half years the Swedish songstress has become one of my favourite artists because of her unique storytelling, her oozing confidence and her raw emotional vulnerability. She has evolved a lot as an artist since her debut EP and saw her completely owning her sexuality and vulnerability during her “Ladywood” era. After touring the world extensively with that record she has released phase two of the “Ladywood” project aka her third studio album. “Blue Lips” is an interesting collection of songs that continues the synth lead production its predecessor provided. The album is split into two sections; “Light Beams” and “Pitch Black”. The first half are synth lead tracks that just sound like B-sides to “Ladywood”. It starts off strong with the infectious “Disco Tits” and vibey “Shedontknowbutsheknows” but then goes down hill with the forgettable “Shivering Gold”, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and “Stranger”. Even “Bitches” which is one of her strongest songs in her current live show gets a lacklustre studio recording which completely down plays her epic key change which makes the Spotify Live version an essential listen instead. The second half of the record is thankfully a lot stronger and delivers more emotional material instead. “Romantics” offers an experimental DIY production which makes it stand out while “Cycles” is this downward spiral reflection track that has oozing synths. “9th Of October” and “Struggle” are forgettable at best and that’s okay because the final two songs are the strongest tracks on the record and make up for everything else. “Bad Days” is about the difficulties surrounding moving on from your ex and missing all the little memories that you shared together. “If it was easy, I’d forget about you, baby. But I never really understood how people move on from a heart to love another. Oh, if I could, I would”. It’s just one of those really relatable tracks that remind you why you fell in love with her in the first place. The 80’s inspired synths drive the chorus and provides a truly groovy vibe while the steady drum beat and bass line drives the verses. Closing the album with the extremely vulnerable “Hey, You Got Drugs?” she looks at the struggle of the separation and needing to escape the reality of it all. The incorporation of the bridge and the chorus together creates a really special and memorable moment that will be stuck in your head for hours. “Hey, you got drugs? Just need a pick-me-up only for tonight, don’t tell anyone I was with ya. Yeah, it’s good stuff, but I’m resistin’ now, take it if you want, think I’ve fallen out of my feelings”. As a whole this record is her weakest yet. But it’s her most cohesive sounding. It’s the perfect follow on from the last record but it does just sound like a bunch of b-sides with a couple of stand out moments. These songs do have a cool edge to them which will come alive in her new live show and I can’t wait to hear some of these songs evolve.