Album Review: Lady Wood, Tove Lo

Swedish star flies feminist banner. Gender rules apply...

Tove Lo is in many ways a thoroughly conventional millennial singer. Her voice splits the difference between Rihanna and Beyonce; her songs are smothered in the kind of sumptuous production that has made every female R&B singer of the past decade sound oddly similar.

But if tunes such as ‘Influence’ (with a cameo from Wiz Khalifa) and recent single ‘Cool Girl’ play it safe at the surface level, lyrically Lo chooses the path less travelled. Ladywood is obviously a euphemism (if you can’t work it out, ask a grown-up), with the 29-year-old celebrating and exploring female sexuality with confrontational frankness.

It is heartening to encounter a female singer full of swagger and self-assurance. But it’s a pity Lo’s determination to rip down gender boundaries does not extend to her music (much of it written with Ellie Goulding collaborator and Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack composer Ludvig Söderberg). There are moments, such as on the title track , when it seems Lo is on the verge of something powerful. Ultimately, though, her undoubted individuality is hard to decipher beneath tides of musical slickness.

 

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