Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, the duo known as Icona Pop, released their second studio album, This Is... Icona Pop on September 24th. These synthpop girls are known for their contagious anthems, and this new album is completely full of them. Released under Big Beat Records, a branch of Atlantic Records, the 11 tracks that make up this album are filled with fun and freeing lyrics surrounded by catchy infectious melodies.
With foreign artists topping music charts in all genres, it’s no surprise that this innovative Swedish pair has already had multiple singles claim wild success on dance charts, as well as the Top 40. “I Love It’, the song Icona Pop is most well known for, has been released as a single as well as on every album and EP the girls have released so far; most likely because no one can get enough of it. The rest of the songs on This Is... Icona Pop share the same positive, jump-worthy feel as “I Love It,” but still manage to show their diversity and musical ability. Songs on the album such as “Girlfriend” and the insanely catchy “All Night” are sure to follow in the chart-topping footsteps of “I Love It”.
Focusing on the beats and melodies of these songs can make you dance no matter what mood you’re in, but the meaningful lyrics could just as easily make you cry or do a little soul-searching. Caroline and Aino are contributing writers on most of the albums tracks, which is more rare than you’d think these days. Knowing that this album is personal to these girls makes it that much more powerful.
Here’s a track-by-track review of the new album This Is... Icona Pop.
I Love It (feat. Charlie XCX) - (9.5/10)
Why wait for a song to build up to a drop? “I Love It” creatively opens with the most powerful beats of the song, making it impossible not to get hooked in immediately. Sure, it plays on the radio constantly, but don’t pretend that you don’t crank the volume up every time it comes on.
All Night (8/10)
E! used this song in their promo commercial for this years Emmy awards, which no doubt led to avid Googling and Shazaming to find out what catchy, upbeat song was playing. Successful searchers would have found out this song was by Icona Pop, and is the perfect song to follow “I Love It.” A perfect song to roll down the windows to, and seize the night.
We Got the World (8.5/10)
Live life, embrace your youth, the world is your oyster. What more inspiring message is there than that? Pair that with perfect synth chords and uplifting beat, and you’ve got another perfect anthem to belt with your friends under flashing lights.
Ready for the Weekend (6.5/10)
With more of a slow start before the attitude-filled beat drops, this one dips a toe into the dub-step realm more than the other tracks on the album. You may not be chanting along to this one as much, but you’ll still be on your feet.
Every pair of best friends needs a song they can rock out to together when boys and other friends fail. “What would I do without you? We’ll never know.” An anthem that all you need is your girlfriend. This track is sure to be the first song on the next mixed CD you make for your best friend on her birthday.
In the Stars (6.5/10)
Electronic and earthy, this one is a little deeper than some of the other tracks. Fitting in with the rest of the songs, “In the Stars” touches on the infiniteness of what lies ahead, leaving our destiny to the stars.
On a Roll (7/10)
Sounding a little bit like an old 90’s song right in the start, the steady beats of this track have a similar message of “I Love It”, rock and roll and do what you want.
Just Another Night (7.5/10)
Another song that gets you thinking rather than raging, this slower song gives you time to hear the subtle guitar strings and true vocal talent of these beautiful girls. So crank it up, take a break, and let it go.
Hold On (6.5/10)
A bass-guitar driven buildup gives way to a more atmospheric chorus, and the lyrics of this one are that of a classic breakup song. Still carrying the flavor of Icona Pop’s unique style, this one is less of a dance anthem.
Light Me Up (6.5/10)
With an intro that catches you off guard then connects to contagious clapping, this could be considered a fireside song by Icona Pop standards.
Then We Kiss (6/10)
This final song on the album is a fusion of strange chords, love-song lyrics, catchy beats and a do-what-you-want attitude. Not as infections as the earlier tracks on the album, this track is the perfect way to bring the collection to a close.