Album Review: AURORA – A Different Kind Of Human – Step 2

aurora different kind of human

AURORA continues to grow on third LP
Norwegian pop artist AURORA had her first success when single ‘Runaway’ became a huge hit online back in 2015. A debut album followed in 2016 and last year she surprised us with the eight track LP Infections of a Different Kind – Step 1She took her electronic pop into a more alternative direction with ominous sounding productions and dark poetic lyrics. As the ‘step 1’ in the title suggested, a ‘step 2’ was upon us. AURORA released A Different Kind of Human – Step 2 and shows she keeps growing as an artist, also co-producing all of the songs for the first time.

AURORA kicked off the new era in January with first single ‘Animal’, arguably her most mainstream sounding track with its clubby pop dance chorus. She followed it up with singles ‘The Seed’ and the smooth synth pop banger ‘The River’. Like with her last album, the more catchy and poppy tracks were pushed forward as single material, while the rest of the album is more alternative, although generally not as dark as its predecessor.

‘Dance On The Moon’ is an airy production with high pitched vocals in which AURORA sings about how she watches herself dance on the moon through her window. The subtle piano sounds add to the dreamy vibe, as well as the layered vocals towards the climax of the track. ‘In Bottles’ channels her inner Kate Bush with a chorus filled with high notes and chants and one of the best hooks on the whole record. ‘Apple Tree’ almost serves hiphop vibes with the thicker beats in it chorus, although the melody lines are unmistakably AURORA.

On the fast paced, explosive chorus of ‘Daydreamer’ she sings about how we should step out of the life expectations we have in our modern society, singing: “we become night time dreamers, street walkers and small talkers, when we should be daydreamers and moon walkers and dream talkers”. While a lot of AURORA’s music has symbolism about the earth and nature in the lyrics, she directly addresses us to change our ways to save the planet in a time of climate change, destroying of nature and pollution of the water on powerful highlight ‘The Seed’. “When the last tree has fallen and the rivers are poisoned, you cannot eat money”, she repeats over thunderous drums in the main hook.  It is this ability to create poetic lyrics and turn them into a memorable melody with a bombastic production, that makes that she is in a league of her own as an artist.

For all the big productions and loud drums, AURORA always completely strips things back on a few songs on each record too, which is on the title track ‘A Different Kind of Human’ this time around. She sings about some sort of afterlife, where the people with hope in their heart go, as the earth is not a place for them anymore (this is a reference in closing track ‘Mother Ship’ too). “Come on, let us take you home”, she sings in an enchanting manner. This track is proof that her compositions are strong enough with barely any production too.

The five minutes long ‘Soulless Creatures’ is a proper testament of AURORA’s undeniable talents. The captivating track takes it time with the build up, not letting go of our attention while the singer serves some of her most outgoing vocal work. She chants and moves us over a dynamic production that has strings, drums and almost a cappella parts. Through the years, AURORA has became more outspoken in her lyrics with more refined poetry, her voice has grown into a force of nature and the fact that she co-writes and co-produces all of her music, makes this third body of work even more impressive. She is an exceptional talent who really has the potential to become a defining pop star of her generation.

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