Tove Lo releases conceptual album ‘BLUE LIPS’

Tove Lo attends the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Kings Theatre on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Tove Lo attends the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Kings Theatre on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Tove Lo released her third studio album “BLUE LIPS (Lady Wood phase II)” on Nov. 17, an electronic kaleidoscope all about chasing highs, whether by drugs, love or performing.

The album is broken into two main chapters: “LIGHT BEAMS” and “PITCH BLACK.” “LIGHT BEAMS” is the first song on the album and creates a fun and carefree club kid vibe, heavy on electronic dance beats. This feeling is continued throughout the “LIGHT BEAMS” portion of the album, especially with the second song entitled “disco tits.” “disco tits” is Lo’s most popular song on the album and is the perfect dance party anthem. It has a strong bassline and a catchy-if somewhat-repetitive chorus.  

Another notable song on the “LIGHT BEAMS” portion of the album is “bitches.” Like all of the songs on Lo’s album, “bitches” has a strong electronic beat but is more grungy than the other songs on “BLUE LIPS,” showing Lo’s musical diversity.

The album then segues into the second chapter of “BLUE LIPS” with the intro “PITCH BLACK,” a darker and more ominous instrumental piece, especially in comparison to “LIGHT BEAMS.” While the “PITCH BLACK” portion of the album is still consistent in terms of Lo’s signature electronic beats, the content and lyrics of the songs in this chapter take on a more serious tone.

Whereas “LIGHT BEAMS” is all about fun and carefree hookups, “PITCH BLACK” is much more personal, describing Lo’s past relationships that have ended in heartbreak. This vulnerable tone is established from the very beginning of the chapter with the song “romantics (featuring Daye Jack).”

Lo’s most vulnerable track on the entire album is “9th of october,” which describes a past relationship that ended badly. The song is an ode to Lo’s memory: “9th of October, I always remember/ 9th of October, can’t think of it sober/’Cause all of it fuckin’ hurts.”

Lo continues with the theme of heartbreak in the song “bad days,” singing, “If it was easy, I’d forget about you, baby/But I never really understood/How people move on from a heart to love another/Oh, if I could I would.” “PITCH BLACK” is both technically and lyrically stronger and more emotional than the “LIGHT BEAMS” chapter of “BLUE LIPS.”

The album comes full circle with the last song on “BLUE LIPS” entitled “hey you got drugs?,” creating a link to the drug-fueled first chapter “LIGHT BEAMS.”

Tove Lo has always been known as an artist that has pushed boundaries in her musical discussions about sex, drugs and love, along with her graphic videos and tradition of flashing the audience when performing live. In an interview with EW, Lo said, “I like challenging people, [and] forcing them to think about or feel things they usually try to stay away from.”

“BLUE LIPS” is no different in terms of pushing the boundaries. The title of the album alone proves this: it’s the female equivalent of “blue balls.” The song “bitches” continues this notion, as it’s all about the pleasures of casual lesbian sex. Lo’s song “disco tits” and the racy short film she created as an accompanying music video is just another example.

"BLUE LIPS” is a continuation of Lo’s second studio album “Lady Wood.” “Lady Wood” also pushed boundaries with its depiction of female sexuality. It has a similar set-up to “BLUE LIPS” with two dividing chapters: “Fairy Dust” and “Fire Fade.” Lo envisioned “Lady Wood” and “BLUE LIPS” as a two-piece concept album, linking all four chapters together.

Tove Lo most certainly delivered with “BLUE LIPS.” She continues her legacy of musical artistry while simultaneously tackling media censorship and the depiction of female sexuality, all while creating an album one can dance to. This mix of the serious and carefree is what has made Tove Lo so unique and successful.

Rating: 4/5


Lucie Turkel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lucie.turkel@uconn.edu.