Friday, February 28, 2014

This Is... Icona Pop | Icona Pop


★★☆☆☆

Icona Pop took the world by storm last year with their breakthrough single "I Love It." The song jump-started their international career outside their homeland of Sweden, and they took advantage of the song to release their second full studio album This Is... Icona Pop, which was plugged as their debut album in countries other than Sweden.

I listed "I Love It" in my favorite singles of 2013, and it stills hold its place as my favorite song on the album. The song is just so fun and great for clubs and dances. Whenever I hear it, I can't help but scream the lyrics along with the duo: "I crashed my car into the bridge... I DON'T CARE. I LOVE IT." (Yes, the all-caps were necessary. The lyrics have to be screamed for maximum excitement. It's a strictly-enforced rule while singing that song.)


The only other Icona Pop song to make an impact on United States radio is "All Night," which was tailored to radio stations as the second single from the album in the States. It's an alright track, but I would never listen to it on repeat like I do "I Love It." Another song, "Ready for the Weekend," was tailored as a promotional single from the album, and was also included on the Iconic EP, but it never really took off in the United States. It's a really great party song, and I must say that its electronic breakdown is nicely done.

Most of the songs keep the fun rolling, but two of my other favorites include "We Got The World" and "On A Roll." The former keeps the carefree feeling going lyrically with "They say, 'You're a freak,' when we're having fun / Say, 'You must be high,' when we're spreading love," and introduces a beat reminiscent to a Calvin Harris production. "On A Roll" contains a looped "Do do do do do do do" vocal line in the chorus and a chilled-down bridge.


Most of the songs on This Is... Icona Pop are formulated on a common electronic dance formula: verse, build-up, breakdown, verse, build-up, breakdown, bridge, breakdown. "Girlfriend" breaks that tradition, relying on a more traditional pop song format (verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus). What really shock me about this song is its simple lyrics ("All I need in this life of sin is me and my girlfriend / Down to ride till the happy end, is me and my girlfriend") and the fact that it took eleven people to write it. ELEVEN PEOPLE. That's not even song writing; that's a group project! And for having so many people working on one track, the outcome definitely could have been better.

This album is strictly intended for parties and dances, in my mind. This is not a pop album intended to be played over and over again, because it will definitely get old fast (minus the legendary "I Love It.") The electronic beats are great in the album, but once you hear it once... well, you don't really want to listen to it again unless you're in full-on party mode. The Icona Pop shtick gets a bit old after a while, but I'm sure hardcore fans of electronic dance music will have a heyday with this album. Personally, I'll just keep This Is... Icona Pop for parties and enjoy it on occasion rather than burning it out after a few continuous listens.

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