I like this album a lot, and probably the only reason I’m just short of loving it is because I love Devotion so, so much. Where that album was “sparse and restrained” all the way through, this one feels like a juxtaposition of that and a much bigger pop sound. And that big sound results in all the moments that Tom praises here and that I’m not fond of. The melodramatic strings on ‘Pieces’ disturb the mood for me, and ugh, that Ed Sheeran song. I hope people aren’t turned off the album by Tom’s praise of that one, because for me it’s the dullest thing here.
But really, there’s so much here to love. ‘Sweetest Song’->’Kind of…’->’Want Your Feeling’ is an incredible run, and the title track is insidiously gorgeous. Great write-up, even if I don’t agree with every point.
I have to laugh at the people saying things like, “In five years, no one will be listening to Tinashe!” What I’m basically hearing is, “An R&B artist cannot make an album equivalent in quality to (in this case) Caribou.” To me, on one hand you’ve got Caribou, an artist at the forefront of electronic music. On the other, you’ve got Tinashe, who absolutely is at the forefront of R&B. I don’t buy it that the genre of the music automatically makes for a lesser album.
I’ll absolutely be playing this in five years and beyond, just as I still play albums like Love Hate, The Evolution, and Aaliyah. I have Swim and Andorra, and I like them and find them interesting, but I listen to them far less than my favourite R&B.
Oh my god, what is happening to her!? This is like a poorer produced Skye Sweetnam!
Then again, I hate Kids In America, too…
Definitely my album of the week.
You pretty much said it all, except I was anticipating this album so, so much, and now that it’s here it surpasses expectations. on my first run through, by the time she delivered a banger with ‘All Hands On Deck’, I started to feel a little light-headed. This album is that good. If you haven’t checked out her mixtapes, you totally should. They’re not just good-for-mixtapes, they’re good albums, period. ‘Pretend’ might now dethrone it, but ‘Ecstasy’ was my favourite Tinashe jam for a long while.
The Green Album is the only album I’ve ever returned. Under “Reason for return”, I wrote, “Too short, bad”. I stand by my 20-year-old self’s assessment.
Until the rest of Q4 (possibly) blows them out of the water, La Roux, Mariah, and Tove are my pop albums of the year, with Tove and Mariah pretty much neck and neck in front. And if if y’all like those, too, you should check out Liz’s Y2K ep. Breezy R&B jams that sound like the early 2000s.
I’m so stoked to see Tove Lo getting love here! Indulge me, here’s my little Tove story:
In July 2013, my partner and I were walking across a bridge in Stockholm. I heard a familiar song and stopped to place it, and turned out it was Tove Lo’s Love Ballad. And it was live! We hightailed it back the way we came and caught her free set at an outdoor hotel bar. Afterwards, my partner talked me into loitering around in the hopes that Tove would happen by. She did! And she was very lovely as we gushed about how she was going to be big and would have to come play in Canada. And now, just a little over a year later, we’re seeing her tomorrow in Vancouver!
Queen of the Clouds is fantastic, too. Her Truth Serum ep was just a little above average, but this album has hooks, great production, idiosyncratic lyrics, a little humour…just everything you could want in a pop album. Chris, your write-up captures it perfectly.
In a way, I’m glad this album is getting so much praise, as Put Your Back N 2 It was one of my favourite albums of 2012 and didn’t get enough attention. On the other hand, so far I’m finding Too Bright to be brittle, cold, and uninviting.
So I’m squarely on the Mr. Twin Sister train this week. That album’s warm, richly melodic vibe is the opposite of what I get from Too Bright, and it’s been pulling me in again and again.