tue 15/10/2019

CD: Tove Lo - Sunshine Kitty | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Tove Lo - Sunshine Kitty

CD: Tove Lo - Sunshine Kitty

Forthright relationship-centred lyricism combined with elegant electronic pop to winning effect

Kitty looks like her tummy's been tickled

Swedish singer Tove Lo appeared at a time when female physical sexuality was being used as a raw, blunt weapon in pop, when porno chic reached an apex in music videos. Half a decade ago was the time of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” and Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball”, thus Lo’s overt displays of sexual bravado seemed part of the same and she had big hits with songs such as “Habits (Stay High)” and “Talking Body”.  Her output since, however, has proved her sensual agenda to be more than a passing foible.

The bisexual Lo has pushed for a more emancipated Scandinavian attitude to sex. Her last album, Blue Lips, was unequivocal in the language it used to detail a gritty, destructive lesbian relationship, hewn from pure lust. It didn’t attain the success of its predecessors, boding the question as to whether this was down to its uncensored step away from the usual pop archetypes.

Lo’s fourth album is less ruthlessly one-track and, with appearances from Kylie and dance-pop titan Jax Jones, the forces behind her clearly hope for a better response. It deserves success. Its elegant, sheeny, stately electronic pop has more in common with Röyksopp’s work with Robyn than daytime radio cheese. Lyrically, it’s also more intriguing than most of her pop peers, with songs about sisterhood in the face of a rubbish boyfriend (“Glad He’s Gone”), seeing an old lover with a new one at a party (“Really Don’t Like U” –the Kylie collaboration), and the self-explanatory song about a summer fling with a girl (“Bad as the Boys” – an exquisitely catchy track). And her lyrics still sometimes cut straight to the nub of the matter (“Did you go down on his birthday?/Did you let him leave a necklace?”)

With the exception of the pulsing Jax Jones pair-up, “Jacques”, the pace is more groove than dancefloor, but there’s real song craft here. It’s persuasively hooky, matching her attitude to fine 2019 synth-pop, as on the outstanding, woozy downtempo number “Shifted”. Tove Lo’s latest has a maturity of tone to it but, happily, this is firmly riveted to an album that’s thoroughly contagious.

Below: Watch the video for "Glad He's Gone" by Tove Lo

Elegant, sheeny, stately electronic pop that has more in common with Röyksopp’s work with Robyn than daytime radio cheese


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.