By Gurman Sahota, November 15 2016 —
Tove Lo plays it safe with her second album, Ladywood. Continuing the foul-mouthed lyrics and a comfortable electro-pop background the Swedish singer is known for, she continues to produce the familiar sounds created in her first album.
Half of the album is marked “explicit” — and rightfully so — as Tove Lo does not shy away from risky language. Holding her own niche of cutting lyrics and dance music, the album is a continuation of the singer’s quest to bring real life into music.
“Fairy Dust – Chapter 1” starts as a non-lyrical prelude to the electronic influences that highlight the album. This opening track gently leads the listener into the works that build up to sick beats and chilling lyrics.
Tove Lo cleverly hides the gravity of her lyrics with repetitive choruses and dance beats that make it difficult not to shimmy along. The title song is an expectation turned on its head with lyrics such as “Dirty on the inside, damaged goods with nothing but pride, yeah, you give me wood, give me lady wood.” Such is the theme of the album — dirty words and infectious beats.
The album also reflects Swedish synth-pop, akin to albums released by Robyn and a more subtle Icona Pop.
“Cool Girl” punctuates the smooth electro-pop background with a chorus that the listener will definitely sing along to. The track combines the best of Tove Lo, with ample amounts of lyrical punch if you pay attention. This is a trick the artist uses to her advantage alongside a versatile back track that is not limited to just the dance floor.
Although the album shows promise, it falls flat of providing anything overly exciting to the listener. There are more duds than gems on the album with the exception of “Cool Girl” — the best track on the album and one of the best tracks Tove Lo has released to date.