Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Renowned For Sound

For the latest music reviews and interviews

Album Review: Zara Larsson – VENUS

2 min read
"VENUS feels as though it has been a long time in the making, but it's shown itself to be worth the wait" - read our full review of the new album by @zaralarsson

Swedish pop ‘hit-maker’ Zara Larsson has maintained her place at the forefront of contemporary music ever since her breakthrough hit Lush Life broke her into the worldwide mainstream back in 2017. Since then, she has had a string of hits, both solo and with the likes of Clean Bandit, David Guetta, and Alesso. Now, she’s retuned with her fourth album VENUS.

The album begins with single Can’t Tame Her, its 80s synth aesthetic and driving drum beat making it an obvious hit. Lyrically, it covers the themes that permeate the album, love, lust, and feminine freedom. More Than This Was follows on in a similar vein, building up slowly with pulsating electronics until the beat drops at the minute mark. Its a much more low-key track, but Zara’s vocals sound as soulful as on the other more powerful songs. Ammunition follows the formula, but introduces plucked acoustic guitar in the bridge, as well as samples of staccato strings, both elevating the production and adding a pleasant lightness. None Of These Guys is a breezy bass-heavy tune praising her guy over all the others. The sentiment takes a much more humble approach than others with its narrative, and the bright chorus sections highlight Zara’s range perfectly.

Singles You Love Who You Love and End Of Time populate the middle of the album, before the ballads begin. Nothing brings back the staccato strings and lush backing harmonies, growing into a heartfelt chorus that melds 90s pop with modern production. Escape runs with a more summery vibe, the bouncing base and jangling keys showing shades of Calvin Harris’s Funk Wav Bounce. Soundtrack is a pure and simple piano ballad about reminiscing on a lost love, while title track Venus returns to the driving drums of the first track, but has a softer overall sound. The record ends with another piano led song, The Healing, Zara singing about getting together with someone but only after she has healed emotionally. Its the most heart-wrenching tune on the entire album, and ends things on a hopefully but melancholic high.

VENUS feels as though it has been a long time in the making, but it’s shown itself to be worth the wait. From energetic synth pop to powerful ballads and great vocal performances all round, the album is the most cohesive work Zara has put together since her breakthrough back in 2017. For pop fans there’s a bit of everything on here to get stuck into.