Tove Lo might have a throbbing case of Lady Wood, but something about her second album left me decidedly flaccid.
A provocative title and an interesting concept can often be enough to create the level of interest required to sell an album to the masses. Pair that with a perfect album, packed with hits and you’re on to a winner. But sadly, a perfect album, this is not. It seems that Tove Lo spent too much time worrying about her ‘woman with a boner’ concept over creating memorable music.
Following up the outstanding Queen Of The Clouds was always going to be a tough and I’m sad to say that Lady Wood suffers badly from the classic sophomore slump. Lead single, ‘Cool Girl’ was massively disappointing. Catchy enough, it just doesn’t go anywhere.
There are a few surprising production touches that don’t lean too heavily on the Bieber trend that has dominated radio for way too long, but not enough to keep me hooked for 40 minutes. There’s a cohesiveness that wasn’t as present on Queen Of The Clouds but the sparse production leaves the ears crying out for strong melodies, lyrical hooks and captivating vocal performances, but they’re too few and far between. The crux of it all being that there are no standout singles.
It’s not all bad, though. ’True Disaster,’ an 80s synth-laden stomper, is one of the better tracks. ‘Don’t Talk About It’ is another highlight. ‘Keep It Simple’ and ‘Flashes’ alongside ‘WTF Love Is’ could have made a solid EP while Tove and her team continued the search for a few radio-ready singles.
Lady Wood, containing chapters I (Fairy Dust) & II (Fire Fade), is considered the first part of a double-album. Chapters III (Light Beams) & IV (Pitch Black) are already planned for album three, due in 2017. So hopefully there’s something with a little more oomph on its way.
Fairy Dust is also the name of the short film released to coincide with the album release. It’s nothing incredible, but it’s clear the level of Tove Lo’s ambition leaves nothing to be desired. As she spends most of the album telling us, she’s absolutely got balls.