By Nicolas Jozefczyk | Staff Writer
Swedish electropop singer Tove Lo is back with a stellar and tantalizing new album that takes the listener through an emotional rollercoaster ride. “Lady Wood,” which came out on Oct. 28, is a perfect combination of crafted beats and vocals that make a flawless pop album.
Coming out only a short two years after her debut album, “Queen of the Clouds,” “Lady Wood” has left many hungering for more of Tove Lo’s unique, melancholic musical talent.
The first song on the record is not a song with vocals, but an instrumental intro. “Fairy Dust – Chapter I” is a 57 second track that sets up the whole album and flows seamlessly into the second number, “Influence.” Usually I am not a fan of music intros or interludes, but “Fairy Dust – Chapter I” is done in such a way that it makes it impossible to know that it and “Influence” are two different melodies without looking at the track list.
“Influence” is aided with a feature from Wiz Khalifa. His short rap only aids the message of the melody, which is being intoxicated by love and not having control, a message commonly found in Tove Lo’s music. “Lady Wood,” the next song and namesake of the album, follows what was set up by the previous track talking about how tantalizing love is. The ending of this tune is mysterious and creepy, allowing for a whole new feeling to be created in time for the next song.
“True Disaster” and the fifth piece, “Cool Girl,” create a questioning and heartbreak feeling. With both songs debating long-term love, it is a nice break from the theme that originated from the beginning of the album.
The next melody, “Vibes,” is minimalist compared to Tove Lo’s usual electronic and synth music. Although that electronic sound is not taken out completely, the verses of both Tove Lo and Joe Janiak, who is featured on this track, are accompanied by mainly guitar. This allows “Vibes” to sound more intimate and stripped down, creating an emotion of raw love.
“Vibes” is then followed by an interlude named “Fire Fade – Chapter II.” This instrumental arrangement with slight vocals gives a very unsettling feeling. While listening to it, “Fire Fade – Chapter II” creates an imagery of waking up from a drug induced high. With lyrics like “I’m lost” and “I don’t know where I am” accompanied by an echo, the sound is fearful. Just like the intro, “Fire Fade” flows into the next song seamlessly.
“Don’t Talk About It” and the ninth tune, “Imaginary Friends,” produce the feeling of regret. “Don’t Talk About It” uses the line “sweep it under the rug like we do” to show the love is not talked about anymore. This is followed up by “Imaginary Friends” which mainly talks about how her imaginary friends will always be there for her, since her lover could not be.
The tenth and 11th tracks in the setlist, “Keep it Simple” and “Flashes,” are callbacks to Tove Lo’s past love, with the former talking about keeping the relationship physical in order to try to convince the guy to stay with her, while the latter incorporates how her public life interferes with relationships and how she is not perfect.
Finally, the last melody on the album, “WTF Love Is,” mixes together a fast tempo with lyrics regarding love cliches and what love actually is to create a meaningful song that is also good to dance to.
“WTF Love Is” ends with the lyrics “Ah, f— / Ugh, I need another” which is actually very topical for how “Lady Wood” is planned out. In this case, those lyrics can be preserved by the listener as he or she needs more music from Tove Lo, as if he or she is addicted to it. Luckily, Tove Lo’s album is actually a double-album, meaning there is a second one coming out sometime next year.
Tove Lo was able to create an album that evoked just as much emotion as her last one, “Queen of the Clouds,” did. She uses the musical medium to tell a story, which allows listeners to follow along like we are with her through all of these different events. All of the songs, other than the intro and interlude, mesh together many synth sounds, cool and tantalizing vocals and beats a person cannot help but to dance to. That being said, “Fairy Dust – Chapter I” and “Fire Fade – Chapter II” are used to allow the album to have an undistinguishable flow.
“Lady Wood” is a storytelling masterpiece that any fan of any genre should pick up and listen to. It creates perfect anticipation for the second part of her album, which is set to release in the early months of 2017. Let’s hope it manages to be even better than its predecessor.