For much of the past year, 29-year-old singer/rapper Ellinor Olovsdotter has hopped freely between dance music sub-genres. The Swedish polyglot who works as Elliphant released a solid, energetic pop-rap debut EP last January only to follow it up with A Good Idea, a garish, Sweden-exclusive LP that ran the gamut from Björk-indebted industrial dance to pedestrian sample-based synth pop. She then went on to work with Diplo and co. at Mad Decent for this year’s Look Like You Love It, an EP comprised of dubstep, dancehall, and punk-rap with assists from Skrillex. Still, that frantic, mixed-bag approach, like A Good Idea before it, lacked the unabashed vitality that the first Elliphant EP brought to the table. Olovsdotter has cited No Doubt and Portishead as early influences, but her output thus far seems more informed by the former’s cultural pastiche rather than the latter’s willful eclecticism.
One More, Olovsdotter’s latest release on Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records, seems intended to temper the unfocused Look Like You Love It. The production across these five tracks, while still filled with its share of glitchy electronic drops, is more subdued than anything Olovsdotter’s done before. Here, she seems more at ease settling into 4 a.m. cabs home at the end of the night rather than indulging in the bacchanalian club life her Mad Decent entry suggested.
That half-sedate, half-totally-wired vibe is best realized on the EP’s title track. With Lorde collaborator Joel Little handling production, “One More” teems with sparse, undulating synths as Olovsdotter trades verses with Danish pop upstart MØ about 24-hour taco spots and playing hooky from work. The call-and-response finale of “One More” switches the track from a modest, pulsing lead single to a near-perfect anthem for getting faced with your best friend. Closer “You’re Gone” is of a piece with the title track, taking similarly understated production and hoisting it up with a thumping boost of a chorus, providing quality bookends to One More that suggest more of the EP than it’s willing to dole out.
The EP’s middle section has the same flaws that crippled A Good Idea and Look Like You Love It, namely lazy songwriting (“Never Been in Love”) and tired stabs at singalong melodies (the Doja Cat-assisted, FIFA 15-soundtracking “Purple Light”). Even “Save the Grey”, which shares its name with Olovsdotter’s conceptual activism project aiming to “save the grey animals like elephants, rhinos, whales, sharks, and wolves,” tries for a sense of urgency and fails. Perhaps by the time Elliphant releases a debut LP stateside, she’ll have found a more winning balance between the high energy of her party-starting anthems and the more introspective, hangover-friendly deep cuts.
from Album Reviews – Pitchfork http://ift.tt/1zy7Zss