I think I’m legally obliged to start this review with some awful, lazy and borderline offensive joke about Swedish pop stars, but I think I’m going to buck the trend here and instead open up with a joke about Belarus:
‘Hey, that Belarusian woman is going to get cold in this typically brisk Belarus winter weather’
‘You’re right, she should be wearing her Minsk coat!!!’
I didn’t say it was going to be a good joke…
OK, we can start now: ‘Kiddo’ is an absolutely monumental pop album. Styrke finished third on Swedish Pop Idol in 2009* and her 2010 debut was a standard by-the-numbers committee penned cash-in that was predictably about as artistically inspired as that sock you keep underneath the bed that your partner doesn’t know about. Unlike most people in her position initially pushed to semi-stardom Styrke (I’m sure I’ve never once spelled that correctly) decided that rather than milk her 15 minutes she’d instead retreat from the limelight and work on an album she felt better represented the type of pop star she wanted to be. Her comeback in 2014 with the stormer ‘Even If I’m Loud It Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking to You‘ hinted that what she wanted to be was amazing. ‘Kiddo’ boasts so much charisma, so much explosive performance, so much personality. And the personality it boasts is chiefly one of explicit, hard-line and aggressively confrontational feminism, ‘Kiddo’ is constantly and angrily confronting patriarchal assumptions and attempts to control. This is EXACTLY what pop music should be: strong and impassioned, view points shouted over pristine production. Most importantly: the pop production is pristine, Tove Styrke is absolute perfection.
*I was all ready to make the joke that Britain can expect an album of this quality next year from whoever came third in 2010’s X Factor, until a bit of research showed that third placed that year were One Direction and I lost all faith in the bit.
Not really a ‘fact’ per se is it? And only an extremely tenuously linked to Tove: Yeah I know, I just literally first heard about it yesterday and it’s been really playing on my mind. Still, there’s no trouble in the world when I listen to ‘Ain’t Got No‘