Swedish singer Tove Lo has proven herself as a master of seduction, and the trend continues in her third studio album, “Blue Lips.”
Ebba Nilsson, behind her stage name, Tove Lo, keeps consistent with her moody beats and dreamy vocals on “Blue Lips,” which was released Nov. 17. The artist creates an alluring distinction between each half of the new album. “Blue Lips” contains two minute-long instrumentals, “Light Beams” and “Pitch Blank,” which create a thematic divide in her story of nights spent in a the haze of carefree love and the pain of reality.
Throughout “LIGHT BEAMS,” Tove Lo loses herself in her music. From beginning to end of the first chapter of “Blue Lips” she seems to recall a night without consequences, or a night in which she simply doesn’t care about them.
The rest of the tracks follow the same lines. In “Shedontknowbutsheknows,” Tove Lo creates a misty haze within the song, as if she’s dripping with sweat in a club of which she doesn’t remember the name.
In “Stranger,” Tove Lo tries to fill her emptiness with intoxication and someone else. She sings to an unnamed lover, “You’re my stranger in the dark / I am lonely, lonely heart / Waiting for someone to take me home.” Her first mention of these lonely emotions begins her transition to the next chapter of the album.
“Pitch Black” marks the shift in “Blue Lips.” The eerie whisper sounds throughout the instrumental mark the dramatic emergence of what lies behind her careless partying and seamlessly incessant high. In “Cycles,” she sings, “Fallin’ again, and don’t understand / Never my plan,” and continues, “I’m in a cycle / Swear this is different / Don’t wanna end it, if you leave then I keep spinnin.” For the first time on the album Tove Lo is vulnerable, sober and uncertain.
In “9th of October,” Tove Lo contradicts everything she claimed to want under “Light Beams.” The hollowness of her relationship with someone she once loved becomes a harsh reality.
In the album’s final ballad, “Hey you got drugs?”, Tove Lo’s voice is completely raw, unsynthesized and pain-stricken. She desperately tries to mask her emotion in the bright lights and drugs, but her reality finds her. This song exists in a space of fear as Tove Lo drifts through the process of accepting her reality.
“Blue Lips” takes listeners through a journey of self discovery. Tove Lo disguises her emotions underneath her intoxication and tries to fill a void that can’t be filled. Behind her provocative lyrics is a scared girl, attempting to forget her reality if only for a night. The separate chapters Tove Lo creates within her album establish a line between her careless oblivion and awaking to her emotions — a desperate attempt to regain the ignorance that follows.
“Blue Lips” is available to stream on Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music and can be purchased on iTunes and in store.