Liam Easley, Arts & Entertainment editor
The image of rainfall comes to mind when listening to the melancholy standards of the latest Tove Lo offering, “Sunshine Kitty.” As an album of 14 songs, and 40 minutes total, this is short for a pop album. The content lives up to expectation, in other words, it lacks originality.
A 40-second track introduces the album, and “Glad He’s Gone” is the first full song. The track sums up the album well, being a medium for the various methods of music Tove Lo experiments with. While there are some songwriting choices such as several choppy, gritty effects near the end that ruined the song’s momentum, the track is still effective at kicking off the album.
There is a form of atmospheric experimentation on the first few tracks. As for “Sweettalk My Heart,” the end contains an atmospheric pause that would have effectively concluded the track, but the chorus comes back with no transition, making it seem random and, in a way commercial.
Beyond the first few tracks, songwriting flaws are merely nitpicking on my part. In fact, the music gradually gets better in the body of the record. “Stay Over” and “Really don’t like u” are the strongest tracks, both showcasing strength in vocal and instrumental performance through melody. The former of the two excels in memorability with its snappy chorus line and upbeat progression while the latter is a simplistic yet highly effective pop standard.
Outside of the music lacking true identity, what really made this record suffer is the structure. The beginning and middle are both good, but the last three songs are uneventful. “Shifted” and “Mistaken” are back-to-back slow songs, and both have little to no depth. If they were at least split up instead of grouped next to each other at the end of the album, it would have been fine, but the tracks are only a lull in the full-length.
The final track, “Anywhere u go,” is a step up from the previous two tracks, but it seems as if that’s the case merely because what proceeded it was so dull. It was a breath of fresh air stepping outside of a cave into the sunshine.
Tove Lo has nothing special to offer on her latest work. There are two or three stand-out tracks, but what really brings this album down is its structure, lack of originality and songwriting.