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Album reviews: Sigrid – It Gets Dark and Soft Cell – Happiness Not Included

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Sigrid – It’s getting dark

★★★★☆

“Dark” is not a word that would be associated with Sigrid. The Norwegian artist was at the forefront of the scandipop boom of 2017, her songs were relentlessly energetic. But now the piano chords have slipped from major to minor. The bass lines float menacingly like thunderclouds. And Sigrid shows a different side of himself.

On the ’80s-tinged single “Burning Bridges,” she’s ruthless, cruising along a shimmering synth line: “I could tell you the truth but you’d call me a liar/ Tried to wave a white flag but you got it in.” Set on fire.” On the somber “Last to Know,” she sings in a vulnerable falsetto, regretting the pain she’s about to cause someone. Kylie disco wafts on “A Driver Saved My Life,” while “Mistake Like You” reinforces the whiny pop-ballad vibes with a Hammond organ and some delightfully cheesy electric guitar licks.

Other songs feel a little too familiar. As she inserts Pachelbel’s canon for the piano intro and then the riff of “Thank Me Later,” one wonders if she’s gently poking fun at pop’s formulaic nature — as one of its former outliers — or indulging in it. The lyrics on Bring Me the Horizon’s collaboration Bad Life return to the nasal style of their 2019 debut, Sugh punch. But overall, Sigrid achieves exactly what she set out to do: add some bite to her previously flawless pop.

soft cell – luck not included

★★★☆☆

“Where have all our hopes gone?” Marc Almond mourns the loss of Soft Cell’s new album opener, luck not included. “All our naive dreams go away?/ Were they just sci-fi stories?” The synth-pop duo were hardly optimistic at first, but that’s downright miserable.

However, you have good reason to do so. As Almond notes, what was once a glittering 21st-century future of rocket ships and flying cars has now lost its luster. He prays for a “nostalgia machine” that will snap him out of the cursed reality he’s in now. After saying “goodbye” with a series of farewell shows in 2018, Soft Cell have returned to a landscape that’s almost certainly worse than when they left.

Still, not everything is hopeless – at least the music is good. “Nighthawks” begins with Almond’s raspy animal cry, then a sleazy growl is delivered over jerky beats: “Get it, shoot it, f*** it, lick it, love it all.” Piano notes ring out like mourning bells on “I’m Not.” a Friend of God” – the same bells ring out, this time more jubilantly, for the zombie thrill of “Tranquiliser”. Then it’s time to set sail again for “New Eden”, without looking back. You can hardly blame them.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/sigrid-review-soft-cell-album-b2072321.html Album reviews: Sigrid – It Gets Dark and Soft Cell – Happiness Not Included

JOE HERNANDEZ

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