Tove Styrke has surprised, delighted, and blessed us with one of the best albums of the year. We’ve been listening to it so much over the last few days, and it’s really incredible how many highlights there on are. So we had to put a review on here. Particularly as her record label, Sony, are making the album available all over Europe this week. So hopefully wherever you’re reading this in the continent, you’ll be able to buy it if you wish.
You should all know the single ‘White Light Moment’ by now, as we’ve raved about it on here quite a few times now. And while it is the best thing on here, there is a lot that comes close to it. The first three tracks on the album are a good representation of the majority of Tove’s sound. ‘Beating On A Better Drum’ has the type of backing track that is so captivating, that the melody actually comes second in what you’re looking for. That’s quite unusual for us, as the melody is always so important. But the lack of one here isn’t missed in the slightest. It’s got a great drum beat throughout, hand claps, and a constant electro pulse – all adding together to make a pretty special sound. ‘Stalker In Your Speaker’ is like one of the better uptempo moments from the new Robyn album (a favourable comparison that a lot of the Swedish press are bestowing on her too). And it’s a got a genius middle eight that plays on the speaker theme of the song. ‘High And Low’ takes the sound of the previous two songs and adds the album’s first heartfelt lyric. It’s got a beautiful turn of melody in the last part of each chorus, and should be a front runner for being a future single.
‘Chaos’ steps things up a gear. It’s the most interesting song on here, production-wise. It starts off quite standard and basic electro, but builds into a really beautiful crescendo of music. Like a lot of other songs on here, the production is so good and the melodies so subtle, that you don’t really notice the latter until you’ve listened to it a few times. But once you do, you’re hooked by the song for a second time, in another way. We also really love ‘Love You And Leave You’. Her vocals on this one are so much fun. It sounds like she’s letting go and having fun with it – which is funny because production-wise, it also sounds like the track on the album that the producers had the most fun with too. Dreamy synths and beats given a high speed injection.
‘Bad Time For A Good Time’ is where Tove goes all Bodyrox/Luciana on us. It’s like an electro house track slowed down and sparsified! It’s dreamy, and enjoyable. But might also be seen as being quite weak in comparison to other songs on here. We like it though. ‘Close Enough’ has a danger of blending in with everything else on here and isn’t one of the standout tracks. That’s not to say it’s bad, because it’s very good. But it does sound like the more subdued sister to the album’s opening three tracks. Although we’re glad that it’s taken on their 80’s Sc-Fi movie synth too!
The album has two ‘’ballad’’ moments, near the end. Still very electro of course, and not traditional ballads in any sense. ‘Four Seasons’ is probably the most beautiful thing on here. The instrumentation they’ve chosen is genius. We could quite happily get lost in, and listen to, a ten minute extended version! Then there’s ‘Walking My Daydream’ – which sounds like she literally is walking awake in her daydream. Her vocal is quite high in places. And the track is actually quite reggae-pop – but as always on here, with an electronic twist. It’s not really like anything we’ve heard before. These two songs are definitely two of our favourites on here.
Finally, we’re still at a loss as to how or why ‘Million Pieces’ was chosen as Tove’s debut single. We’re still not liking it. Usually with a dud single, we can then hear it making some sort of sense in the context of the rest of the album. But that isn’t the case here. It doesn’t sound like anything else on the record and is by far the weakest song too. And to accentuate the problem, they’ve plonked it right in at track 4, rather than at the end. Oh well. But that really is the only fault with this album. It’s just SO GOOD! We’re very excited about what the future holds for this young lady!