Is Swedish pop starlet Zara Larsson’s new album really ‘So Good’?
She’s managed to have a few hits under her belt here in Australia (‘Lush Life’, ‘Never Forget You’, ‘Ain’t My Fault, ‘I Would Like’), but will the album containing all four tracks be the perfect pop affair?
Our reviewer David gives us his take;
Let’s be honest, at some point in the last couple years you’ve had Zara Larsson’s ‘Lush Life’ stuck in your head. It might have been for a minute or many days, but that earworm of a track grew legs and captured music fans the globe over.
It’s been two long years since Zara first unleashed that track and here we are with her new album ‘So Good’.
It’s a bold statement calling your album ‘So Good’. What if it isn’t so good? Think of the ridicule it might face?
Luckily for Zara her album is a solid, considered effort if not slightly bloated at 15 tracks long. I’ve counted about five extra songs that feel like they are chasing a trend and don’t add heaps of value here.
But this is a great effort and is enough to gather support from music fans.
Since her debut on the Swedish version of ‘Got Talent’ in 2008 where, as a 10 year old she won and released a warbling version of Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’, Zara has gone a long way to discover her voice and her story.
Her music is what I’d call “typically Swedish”; it’s quirky, considered, full of amazing hooks and finds a way to drive messages we can all relate to home.
I love Zara best when she’s creating “sad-pop” tracks like ‘I Can’t Fall In Love Without You’. She gets to showcase her vocals, and sing a beautifully arranged tune about love. I’m instantly in heaven!
She does an amazing job on album closer ‘Symphony’, which sees her team up with Clean Bandit. Co-written by prolific pop writer Ina Wroldsen – it’s pure pop perfection. And the music video brings an incredible story to life.
I sometimes like to play with the tracklisting on albums like this ever since pop blog Popjustice reworked Ellie Goulding’s album ‘Delirium’ and turned it into a listenable album.
After doing so here, I think they got the order of the songs wrong. It feels confused in its current state and a bit like she’s trying to please everyone.
It’s her album, not the latest version of ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’.
Once rearranged, songs I wanted to throw away like ‘Ain’t My Fault’ and ‘Make That Money Girl’ make sense and sound like a part of a bigger story.
See my suggested track listing below and give it a go.
01. Never Forget You (with MNEK)
02. Ain’t My Fault
03. Lush Life
04. Sundown (with Wizkid)
05. Symphony (with Clean Bandit)
06. So Good (with Ty Dolla $ign)
08. One Mississippi
09. Only You
10. Make That Money Girl
11. Don’t Let Me Be Yours
12. I Can’t Fall In Love Without You
Zara has created a collection of tunes that people will enjoy and some songs that stand out amongst the crowds.
Here’s to more Swedish pop stunners in 2017 and continued success for Zara.
VERDICT : 4/5.
MUST LISTEN : Lush Life, TG4M, I Can’t Fall In Love Without You, Symphony.