Recordings | January 2018

By Julio C. Reyna, January 2018 Issue.

Artist: Tove Lo

Album: Blue Lips (Lady Wood Phase II)

Label: Island

As a sequel to last year’s Lady Wood, Tove Lo returns with Blue Lips. Like its predecessor, the album is separated into two chapters by the interludes “LIGHTBEAMS” and “PITCHBLACK,” contrasting the highs and lows of a relationship. The subject matter is all too familiar here: drugs, blatant sexuality and the aftermath of a split that’s wrapped in either an electro-pop dance affair or a late-night drunk confessional. The only thing these two scenarios have in common is that they both take place between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m.

The album kicks off with the first single, “disco tits.” Attention-grabbing title aside, this carefree disco-tinged track finds her both embracing her sexual prowess and losing herself in the excitement of seeking out her new lover. It’s all a consequence-free party, and if you one is lucky they may get an invite.

The heartfelt album closer, “hey do you have drugs?” is the complete opposite. The track plays out like a lonely walk home that slowly builds to her realization that her affair has truly come to end. Throughout she repeats, “you won’t save the night for me.” By asking if anyone can help her find a high like the song title suggests, she may be able to escape from the feeling of longing she’s been left with.

With Blue Lips, Tove Lo is not only able to deliver a complete and cohesive continuation of her original project, but she also manages to best it. She has never been one to shy away from uncomfortable subject matter and her eagerness to be that vulnerable and get that personal will continue to be her best overall attribute. Conceptually, sonically and lyrically, this album is her strongest work to date.

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