Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Report to the Dance Floor : Karin Park's "Apocalypse Pop"

She already has two Grammy's in Norway and this is her fifth album, so if there is any doubt as if the six foot three fashion model knows what she is doing , this album is a resounding yes. The album opens with a driving pop song with rough and tumble beats pumping under the otherwise carefree vocal.My finance drew Lorde comparison in her fleeting listen to the first single off the album "Shine" which I can hear in her phrasing that sometimes rides the rhythmic line between singing and rapping on a you be be as broke as you want/ you can be as drunk as you like". The lyrics on this album are incredible and often explore her dysfunctional relationship. There is a smooth darkness that rides songs like "Life is Just a Dream".

The use of effects on this album is very tasteful and milk the most out of the sounds rather than try to create smoke and mirrors. Bjork is one of the biggest influences on this album a fact very apparent on "Stick to the Lie". Some songs will bring on the compulsion to dance like the thick groove in "Whipped Cream Sliver and Pearls". The bubbling gloom coating "Opium" doesn't elevate above what could be a Massive Attack b-side. Though it works on almost a power ballad formula Her songwriting chops show their maturity on  on "Human Beings" by taking the expand/ retract dynamic and fine tuning it.

"Deamons" is sublime on many levels , the honest lyrics, the dynamics. Park isn't Kate Bush, but she uses what she has impressively, on most songs each not it perfectly placed. The album sounds great from a production stand point, every thing is expansive when it needs to be. The sing songy "Hard Liquor Man" has almost a hip-hop quality to it, but most of this album is closer to trip-hop if we are going to really count genre straws. The surreal simmer to "Walls are Gonna Fall" has a stoned pulse to it. The harder shove of "Shake With the Devil" has an abundance of drive to it, I am not sure if it speaks to me as much as some of the other songs, which is surprising for any song with devil in the title to not do."Hurricane" teams Park with Pandora Drive. The layer vocals have a very Fever Ray feeling to them. The lyric are endearing, this sounds like something that needs to be played at high speeds on dark roads. Overall this is a great listen. Not the perfect album, but better than most so I'll give it a 9.5.


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