In trying to find that all-important second hit single, Icona Pop have essentially turned themselves into an EDM-era version of Shampoo (‘Uh oh... we’re in trouble!’). After ‘I Love It’, which opens the album, the next six tracks are an onslaught of shouty vocals, pounding beats and churning synth sounds familiar from recent David Guetta and Calvin Harris hits. Some of these tunes are a lot of fun, especially ‘On a Roll’ with its ‘Tom’s Diner’-style ‘do-do-do’ vocal hook, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that Icona Pop have reduced themselves slightly. The duo actually released a debut album with a very different tracklisting in Sweden last year, and it contained a much wider and more interesting palette of pop sounds.
To be fair, towards the end ‘This Is... Icona Pop’ does chuck in a few more subdued tunes like the Journey-influenced power ballad ‘Just One Night’, before ending with the brilliant ‘Then We Kiss’, which sounds like an old new wave hit on MDMA. ‘Then We Kiss’ isn’t massively different from the tracks at the start of the album, but it tweaks the formula in a clever and unexpected way. If ‘This Is... Icona Pop’ had tried this more often, it could have been the total blast of a pop album that it clearly wants to be. Buy this album here
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