Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Styrke garnered an audience after coming third in Swedish idol in 2009. Since then Styrke has explored a sound that is a combination of electropop and personally complex lyrics. Within her second LP Kiddo, Styrke produces an album that manages to not creep into obscurity with lyrics that are too personal, but rather morphs her lyrical ideas into catchy tunes that are simplistic but meaningful. Kiddo is a great electropop album because it conveys different stories through a variety of ways.
The introductory track Ain’t Got No… begins with a 90s-esque style that is filled with funky bass and distorted drums. It’s a great first track that really climaxes in the chorus with a hearty organ synth. The next track Snaren plays with multilayered vocals that even showcases Styrke rapping. Ego has a fun tinkling glass accompaniment that is the first toned down track of the album. It’s the best track on the album because it explores a universal and emotive theme through Styrke’s soft and almost whispering vocals in the chorus. Samurai Boy changes the rhythm with a more intense style emulated through a bass drum and echoic vocals. Borderline takes on a more reggae feel complete with a funky bass and twangy guitar accompaniment.
Who’s Got News is the only other slowed down track on the album and really has an intensely personal feeling. Styrke’s high vocals are really showcased in this track and it really builds as it goes on. Even If I’m Loud Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking To You reminds me so much of That’s Not My Name by The Ting Tings. It has that clap-like rhythm and repetitive lyrical style. Burn is an explosion of synth sound that really highlights the detail in the layered quality of Styrke’s songs and has a great hook.
Tove Styrke’s album is a worthy electropop album that has plenty of diversity in terms of story, style and sound. The toned down songs are emotive, the high energy ones are intense and the colourful ones are an explosion of sound. What I found so surprising about this album was its complexity of lyrics and how some of the one-liners were very cleverly crafted. Ego is a great stand alone track that demonstrates how great Styrke is at emotively exploring a story. Each track on this album is beautifully different in its own way and that is exactly what you want to see in electropop album.