Album Review: Tove Lo – Blue Lips (Lady Wood Phase II)

tove lo blue lips

Tove Lo delivers second Lady Wood phase Blue Lips
Ever since the release of Tove Lo’s Lady Wood album last year, there have been rumours flying around that a second part was coming. Now it actually happened! The Swedish pop star who had her big break in 2014 with the single ‘Habits (Stay High)’ started the new era with the unusual single (and even more ‘unusual’ video) ‘Disco Tits’ and without much buzz or promo, the full album is out now!

The messy release of ‘Disco Tits’ was not ideal to get people excited for this second phase of Lady Wood, but it is safe to say the actual album has a lot more to offer than Tove creating a parody of herself (although I have to admit that the song kind of grew on me, especially the verses, don’t tell anyone though…). In general, Blue Lips seems to carry a bit more nuance than the first part.

The lyrical content is similar with stories about the Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll lifestyle and especially the dark side of this. She still swears a lot (is there even a track in which she does not drop the F-bomb at least once?), but it never does not feel genuine. Even in a track like ‘Cycles’ where the lyrics are a bit too obvious, it is hard not to feel something. Luckily there is a couple of tracks where she totally gets it right as well. ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ is raw and honest and it is one of her best vocal performances yet. The production is quite stripped back, which is a trend that goes for most of the record actually.

Of course this does not mean that the fans who came here for the bops, should be disappointed. ‘Shedontknowbutsheknows’ is an understated, but still swinging bop with an infectious chorus. ‘Stranger’ is the more in your face type with a similar sound to one of Tove’s most poppy moments ‘True Disaster’. Shit truly turns dark towards the end of the album with ‘9th of October’ where Tove dives deeper into electronic pop, but not without a big belting chorus.

Album closer ‘Hey You Got Drugs?’, co-written and produced by Alex Hope, is the perfect way to end this whole Lady Wood phase. True, you would not expect a song with that title to be a big ballad, but Tove makes it work. The lyrics are truly heartbreaking, dealing with the moment you get high for the last time with a former lover. With this track and the end of the era, hopefully Tove can move on. Can’t wait to hear what she comes up with next because Lo still is one of the most outspoken and exciting pop stars of this generation.

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