Tove Lo is a Naughty Pop Star on the Rebound With a Major Case of #LADYWOOD

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Swedish pop star Tove Lo was smart about the orchestration of launching a follow-up album. After her infectious sleeper breakout hit, “Habits (Stay High)”, and debut album, Queen of the Clouds, debuted in 2014, the rise to international success grew rapidly.

Now, the sophomore record, Lady Wood, comes as 2016 nears its close; timed perfectly as her celebrity and credibility begins to spread like wildfire.

On her latest, Tove Lo is a pop star on the rebound, giving zero fucks about her behavior. The range of emotions captured throughout the evocative sounds is reflective of the human experience in regard to love, sex, and relationships.

Sure, the material isn’t so unfamiliar for Lo, who expressed herself with frank intent on her debut – but this time she’s combining the life experiences of her personal life with that of her personal, since it came colliding with fame.

I was instantly addicted to the bad girl antics Tove Lo showcased with her live performances, videos, interviews and lyrics from the moment Habits went viral. While I wasn’t surprised by the success she has found, she did what few and far between can do with her latest release, by surpassing the awesomeness of her debut.

The first single, Cool Girl, reminds us that Tove Lo is just that. An everyday, in your face female who isn’t afraid of expressing herself in a sexualized manner that isn’t tacky or overboard – it blatantly stimulates. And that is regardless of whether you like boys or girls.

Unashamed of her sexuality – something she attributes to the freedom of a Swedish upbringing where “nudity and sex was not shameful”, Tove Lo lets her freak flag fly on tracks like, Influence, True Disaster and the title track.

I’d like to think on the title track the confident siren delivers a subliminal message to fans with the lyrics: “I know what people say about you/they say the same about me/I don’t care if it’s all true/I want you hangin’ with me,” reminding us why we love her uninhibited, fearless persona.

The album, packed with subtle raunch, seductive rhythms and addictive particles is cohesive from the get-go; telling the story of a woman on the rebound, thrusting herself into a frivolous realm of impurity, doing anything she wants to to expunge the after-effects of a relationship’s finale.

However, this doesn’t mean ignoring her emotions, as displayed in the first moments of Tove Lo’s evocative short film/extended music video(s), Fairy Dust, when she shows off her acting chops with an impressive performance; simply going from giggling, to laughter that suggests insanity, followed by maniacal anger, before bursting into tears.

Tove Lo is only getting better with practice, and such is proof with Lady Wood.

Joe Janiak appears on the sultry track Vibes, which, along with all of the singles released so far, is one of my favorites.

One of the most important elements to any album is cohesion, and Tove Lo proves she can tell a story with lyrics, sound, visuals, performance and ATTITUDE.

The only weak track, Flashes, comes toward the album’s close, but it’s easy to forgive once we hear WTF Love Is.

This woman is easily becoming one of my absolute favorite pop artists. Possessing many of the qualities that pop acts like Rihanna and P!nk have showcased, Lo is capable of achieving the same amount of arena-touring success that these women have. #ZEROFUCKS is the mantra they live by, and one of the main reasons their fans stay dedicated and love them so much.

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