Tove Lo - Dirt Femme Music Album Reviews

Tove Lo - Dirt Femme Music Album Reviews
On her first independent release, the pop star pivots to tamer themes and gives more lethargic performances, losing a lot of her spark in the process.

Dirt Femme is the first Tove Lo album you can play for your grandparents. It’s also her first independent release, which makes the family-friendly tone all the more confounding. On her major label records, Tove Lo blew past the boundaries of respectability: she sped down a highway getting head from a Muppet in the music video for “Disco Tits” and somehow got Universal to pay for it. Now, in apparent full creative control, the most explicit lyric she can muster is, “I prepared for tonight/Ate a pineapple slice for you.” It’s a mere wink from an artist better known for flashing her audience.

Why the shift? Tove Lo married producer Charlie Twaddle in 2020, but this album is no chronicle of newlywed sex. “I’m a pansexual woman married to a straight man,” she said when she announced Dirt Femme. This can be a lonely position for many queer women, who contend with assimilation into the heterosexual mainstream as well as “we get it christa you lived in madrid”-style exile from the queer community. Many tracks find Tove Lo struggling to bolster her own identity. “You’re the love of my life,” she sings, on the Soft Cell-sounding “Suburbia,” “but I can’t be your Stepford wife.” She worries about being obliterated by Hollywood (“Attention Whore”) and disordered eating (“Grapefruit”) but devotes most tracks to serious, stone-faced heteropessimism.

Sex is no longer a playground for Tove Lo, but a drama with life-and-death stakes. There is nothing like the breezy “Glad He’s Gone” or the gum-snapping “Cool Girl” on Dirt Femme. Instead, she offers track after track about the cruelties—and lethalities—of modern love. On synth-pop opener “No One Dies From Love,” she muses, “Guess we’ll be the first.” A corny reverb effect ruins the chorus, just as a Hot Butter (or Crazy Frog) sample sinks single “2 Die 4.” Amid amphibian riffs, Tove Lo and her lover disregard mortality, dancing at midnight on busy motorways. “True Romance,” an homage to the Quentin Tarantino script, manages to make a blown-out Bonnie and Clyde fantasy boring. Tove Lo delivers lyrics about killing and dying for love at the very outer limit of her belt, straining, never varying her volume to build tension. You can hear her gasping for breath between lines. Gone are Tove Lo’s upbeat odes to the little death; these days, her lyrics are genuinely fearful of the real thing.

Tove Lo’s collaborators do her few favors. Producer OzGo, who helmed “2 Die 4,” sanitizes her sexual yearning just as he buffed Marina’s moody edges on the lackluster Love + Fear. Rapper Channel Tres offers a pat verse on “Attention Whore” that adds about as much as Colby O’Donis did to “Just Dance.” Folk duo First Aid Kit are a funny match on the duet “Cute and Cruel,” not blending with Tove Lo’s electro-pop sensibility but keeping the song stuck firmly between gears. SG Lewis, who produced Dua Lipa’s “Hallucinate,” brings a fun energy to “Call on Me” and “Pineapple Slice,” but Ali Payami turns “I’m to Blame” into a country-pop ballad so weak Taylor Swift would have left it in the vault.

Tove Lo herself often sounds lethargic while singing these songs. She is contending with far more serious subject matter here than on, say, Sunshine Kitty; she is not enjoying herself. She is less daring, less awake, less alive to the pleasures of sex and love than she ever has been. When she sings, “I gotta get out of bed/I need a good kick/A kick in the head,” it’s easy to sympathize. It’s even easier to agree.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Tove Lo - Dirt Femme Music Album Reviews Tove Lo - Dirt Femme Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 07, 2022 Rating: 5


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