After the amazing debut album she released a couple of years ago, Tove Lo is back with her sophomore. Lady Wood is a synthpop album that somehow sounds like a crossover between 1989, Delirium and E·MO·TION – without really resembling to any of those, although some tracks could be compared. The album is divided into two sections, with two more sections that will come in the follow up to Lady Wood that will be released next year, kind of like she did with last record.
The opening track, which is an intro, is a really good starting point for the whole album, teasing the track that is yet to come. Influence follows up, a dark synth-popish track that is clearly a grower – featuring infectious pitched kicks and tight percussion in the chorus that will make you want to dance straight off. Wiz Khalifa rap is actually really cool and refreshes the song, contrary to what most of her fans claim. Right after the banger that Influence is, Lady Wood kicks off destroying several careers along the way during the verse. At this point the listener realises that the synth-popish atmosphere and packed drums will define the sound of the album. The drums in the pre-choruses add some kind of organic feel to the mix and make the song stand out of the crowd of bangers!
The true highlight of the record is actually True Disaster, the superior version of Style. When the chorus comes in, the listener cannot hold its feelings anymore after the two previous tracks, it seems like it just gets better and better as you dig more into the tracklist. True Disaster is what every pop song in the airwaves right now wish they were. True Disaster has everything; the syncopated drums, beating bass, massive pads, effective chord progression… The chorus needs a whole article just to praise how amazing is the melody, Tove Lo is indeed an incredibly talented songwriter and this song certifies her! But hold on! You thought this was over? No way! Cool Girl keeps the bar high, at the same level as the preceding track. It’s an infectious, club-ready pop anthem in which Tove Lo plays with the pronunciation of “I’m a cool girl” and “I’m a cougar“, which is basically an old lady having a love affair with a barely legal guy… more or less…
In Vibes is where things start to settle, after being completely mesmerised by the 1 2 3 (4) punch that were the first tracks, this song is more of an acoustic takeover on the album’s sound. For some, this track might be a low point, but for me it’s exactly the opposite, more like a juxtaposition between massive anthems and a different kind of banger. Shout out to Joe’s verse! A truly haunting voice that sounds unexpectedly good in the record!
After the rush that was the first chapter, we get into the Fire Fade section, the more “laid-back” face of the album, although still filled with amazing songs! Don’t Talk About It is easily one of the weakest tracks although awesome nonetheless! The crazy instrumental in the very last chorus really upgrades the replaying worthiness of the song. In Imaginary Friend, Tove Lo gets to True Disaster/Cool Girl level of amazingness, when the chorus comes in little does the listener know what kind of a mind-blowing drop is about to come and become yet another reason to live. The lyrics are a stand-out point in the whole album, the first song that doesn’t references sex and instead talks about fighting for your dreams and listening the voice within (yes at that Christina Aguilera reference). In Keep It Simple, Mrs. Nilsson teases us with what could have been the uptempo ballad of the album, a beautifully sung massive anthem… until the completely unexpected second verse comes in and you feel like jumping out of the window because you just cannot take so many 1 2 3 punches that start to become the usual. The bridge completely destroys everyone else in the industry, leaves nothing else and keeps on slaying left and right!
In Flashes, during the first half
and most of the song the level drops slightly, but that’s just because Keep It Simple‘s genre change is just beyond fascinating! The song starts off as yet another synth-popish track but its outro leaves you empty inside, feeling like throwing all your coins to Tove Lo’s face. The distorted & pitched vocals are just EVERYTHING. WTF Love Is is exactly the type of closer Lady Wood needed, a more innovative rework of the album’s sound from a vocal melody perspective. The chorus isn’t as striking as most of the other ones throughout the record, but it has some kind of a weird flavour that makes it a highlight!
In conclusion, Lady Wood is easily within the Top 10 of the albums released this year, its infectious hooks and tight rhythms make it incredibly catchy. With this record, Tove Lo solidifies her position as one of the most prominent pop figures nowadays, capable of pulling both a cohesive piece of work and several #1 worthy singles. She released a short-movie for the first chapter of the album, also featuring a previously unknown track that is likely to be a part of the second part of that two-album project that will be released sometime next year!
(9 / 10)