Tove Lo - blue lips (lady wood phase II)

Tove Lo
blue lips (lady wood phase II)

I was on board pretty early with Tove Lo. Her first record was cutting pop goodness with a healthy does of female empowerment. The follow up and companion LP to this record Lady Wood was pretty good but didn't reach the heights her first record did. "Disco Tits" was a bit of a surprise release as was this record a highly stylized version of sexy dance hits. The electronic instrumentation is far more diverse on this record as is the artistry. The first single "Disco Tits" was fine, but it didn't capture the real vibe of this record because it was packaged with Tove Lo's topless political stance. I am all for people being into whatever cause they want but often it seems like when someone gets to highly invested it consumes all their work. That was my fear with this record, but it does not come to pass. blue lips (lady wood phase II) really kicks in to gear with "shedontknnowbutsheknows" this really great uptempo dance number with pretty great lyrics to boot. Where Lady Wood felt a bit stiff and controlled this album is far more loose with skittering beats and transitions that should never work but she makes them. There is also this great sense of feminine power coming from Tove Lo on this album. She harness this vibe that is both sexy and empowering a real tightrope that most artists try for but never reach. There is a world where Tove could go full Meghan Trainor and just pander pander pander but she never does that, she allows the music to have an impact that isn't forced or contrived. It's easy to be full of shit when you are saying the things everyone wants to hear, the real challenge is being able to say the hard things and make them stick.

The pacing of the album is also interesting with some songs barely reaching the minute mark sort of acting like interludes but the a far more connected to the songs they proceed rather than standalone work. There is also what seems like a very distinct lack of features here with only one of the tracks featuring Daye Jack (his contribution is minimal at best). I keep coming back to Carly Rae Jepsen's Emotion Side B which felt like the real emotion album, this really feels like what Lady Wood was supposed to be. Maybe their labels needed something to tide them over or some idiot in middle management thought these songs wouldn't connect, well surprise they are fantastic. "Cycle" is perhaps the best track on the record with this fantastic woomp and big ass percussion driving it forward. My expectations were a bit low after Lady Wood  but Tove Lo has proved what a great songwriter she really is. I haven't found myself revisiting Lady Wood much since it came out, but that will not be the case with this album.

8.6 out of 10


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