REVIEW: Tove Lo – “Queen Of The Clouds”
With platinum hit single “Habits (Stay High)” on her hands, Swedish singer Tove Lo has a lot of pressure on her shoulders with her debut album, “Queen Of The Clouds”. Often times, it’s hard for a debut album with a big single to live up to the hype, thus the dreaded immortality of one-hit wonders exist. With “Queen Of The Clouds”, however, Tove Lo has enough power pop to keep her safely away from one-hit wonder status.
The first thing that I noticed about the deluxe version of this album was that it’s jam packed with 19 tracks (16 songs, an intro, and two interludes), which you don’t see very often on a debut. The second thing I noticed is that it’s incredibly sexual. The album is broken up into three sections – “The Sex”, “The Love”, and “The Pain”. The first three tracks, plus the intro, are all sorts of sexed-out. With titles like “Like Em Young” and “Talking Body”, we’re not exactly entering Ke$ha levels of explicitness here, but it’s definitely not going to be mistaken for a Christian album at any point, either.
Things settle down a little bit with “Timebomb”; a track that keeps up the energy, but falters a little bit with verses that don’t seem to stay on any beat whatsover. The chorus makes up for it, however, which is really the only thing you’ll remember from the song. The beginning of “The Love” section of the album, “Moments”, comes equipped with lyrics that were practically made to be tweeted. This section of the album gets a little bit more beat-centric, with some solid pop production guaranteed to catch ears. The follow up to “Habits (Stay High)” is slated to be “Not On Drugs” (ironically), and it’s full of electo-pop glory. With big, dubstep-like synths and an earworm of a hook, it’s going to do just fine on mainstream radio.
“The Pain” section of the album is full of more over-the-top pop. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to hear “Thousand Miles” licensed out to some commercial in the near future (hear that, car companies?) It’s interesting to see “Habits” get sandwiched into this part of the album, but fitting, given the theme of the album’s sections. “This Time Around” kind of limps the album to the finish line, but on its own, it’s not a terrible song by any means.
In theory, Tove Lo could perform this album from front to back, and it would be a solid set list. While it doesn’t have all of the variety that I had hoped for, it’s quality pop music. There’s a plethora of great points throughout this album, but the structure of it could be it’s biggest downfall. In a way, it feels like three good EPs thrown together. Though she doesn’t have the biggest of range in her sound, as an emerging artist, Tove Lo has way more good than bad in “Queen Of The Clouds”. Check it out below.