Published Sep 23, 2019Tove Lo's fourth album, Sunshine Kitty, offers a surprising progression for the Swedish synth-pop singer. Sure, she's no stranger to radio hits, but past songs like "Habits (Stay High)" or "Cool Girl," although catchy, felt like the product of a record label. She was situated somewhere in between Carly Rae Jepsen's tween bubblegum pop and Miley Cyrus's hypersexual shock value.
With Sunshine Kitty, she's starting to make a bit more sense. The album's first full-length track (after a short instrumental intro), "Glad He's Gone" is a feminist anthem that explores topics surrounding toxic masculinity. She's singing about a friend's shitty boyfriend, and it doesn't feel like a gimmicky after-school special; it feels relatable and raw.
"Bad as the Boys" is a breakup song about another woman, adding Tove Lo to the roster of queer pop stars that are challenging the classic hetero-normative narrative in most love songs. "Really Don't Like U" is a classic jealousy song that is hyper-aware of the anti-feminist connotations that surround the internal struggle of meeting your ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend.
Amplified by Kylie Minogue, "Really Don't Like U" is one of Sunshine Kitty's strongest tracks. The pairing is so perfect, since Sunshine Kitty as a whole really leans into the late '90s/ early 2000s synth-pop style and composition. "Really Don't Like U" takes you back to Minogue's classic hit "Can't Get You Out of My Head," a song no one wants to forget.
Fourteen tracks of synth-pop is bold, especially when two are men's names ("Mateo" and "Jacques" feel really repetitive). Although Sunshine Kitty could be shaved down a bit, this album feels like the first time Tove Lo is really situating herself on her own ground. It's sexy, raw, and honest — but above all, Sunshine Kitty is just really good dance music. Essentially, every song on this album would bring anyone to their feet. (Universal)