The Epitaph

Tove Lo’s new album loses characteristic grit

Blue Lips falls into the same pop love song pigeonhole

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Tove Lo’s new album equals less grit and more bubblegum pop.

Tove Lo’s new album equals less grit and more bubblegum pop.

Photo by Time Magazine

Photo by Time Magazine

Tove Lo’s new album equals less grit and more bubblegum pop.

By Renee Wang

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P erhaps most known for the explicit hit single “Habits (Stay High),” Swedish pop phenomenon Tove Lo is back with her third album, “Blue Lips,” which offers a new dimension to her previously raw and gritty tune.

“Habits (Stay High),” with its surge in popularity, was forever etched into Lo’s musical identity, and this is both a blessing and a curse.

“Habits (Stay High)” focuses on tropes we hear so often in music — sex and drugs and all that jazz. But somehow, through both Lo’s songwriting mastery and notes belted out full of raw emotion, these vulgar topics become a sophisticated, and more important, immensely powerful melancholy. An anthem almost, for the lost and heartbroken.

Much of Lo’s songs derives from her personal experiences — the same can be said of “Blue Lips.” Compared to her previous songs, “Blue Lips” gave a more pop-esque vibe to it, with a special focus on the beat — multidimensional groves powered with Lo’s haunting melody making a majority of the songs optimal dance songs.

In all honesty,while I will forever appreciate Lo’s lyrical genius, that is distinct from the overall composition of the 14 songs in “Blue Lips.”

Her newest album is reminiscent of many pop songs populated on the radio, and dare I say, decreased the original grit and sophistication Lo’s previous works have offered. In a way, they were forgettable — the beats were fresh, her voice is hauntingly beautiful, but nothing grabbed me. I would not replay a majority of the songs in the mornings when I got ready for school.

That being said, I applaud Lo on her dimensionality — her album features songs like “PITCH BLACK” and “LIGHT BEAMS”, lyric-less beats which complement as well give much depth to the album.

Songs to commend would definitely  have to be “9th of October” and “Romantics” — the beauty in these songs lies therein of the lyrics, truly poetry in motion.

For any shying away from perhaps the reoccurring explicit content featured in Lo’s music, I urge that you focus less on the subject matter, and more on message.

All in all, “Blue Lips” did not etch into my heart, but provided for a nice escape with its richly layered melodies and beats.

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About the Writer
Renee Wang, Senior Opinion Editor
Renee is a sophomore and this is her first year reporting for the Epitaph. She has lived in Singapore for seven years and considers it her home. In her free time, she enjoys playing golf and volunteering. Renee has been volunteering since middle school for an animal rescue. Renee enjoys biking, but gets lost more...
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