By Patrick Campbell
Released February 21st, 2014 - Sony Music
It has been a whirlwind year for Denmark native Karen Marie Ørsted who performs under the name MØ. Since she began to rise in popularity early last year, her schedule has been filled with a world tour, releasing an EP and two singles, and also recording her debut album. The album that has resulted is a very stylized group of tracks which all showcase the variable sound that she has become famous for.
Opening with the powerful Fire Rides, an impression is instantly made. A slow brooding start to the song is cut out by the high-pitched synths of the chorus and dreamy vocals that layer over the top. This is the perfect start to the album, a new song that impacts on the listener instantaneously, it is infectious and makes you crave the rest of the album. Peppered through the album are some of the tracks she has previously released, including the single XXX 88, which is the only collaboration on the album with mega-producer Diplo. These tracks, which are familiar to fans, are in no way disappointments, they feel fresh and revitalised surrounded by the exciting new songs, and her style has a timeless feel - you could play this album on a loop for days and not get bored.
Highlights within the album include the single/ironically named dance floor anthem Don't Wanna Dance, andWalk This Way. These two songs are full of energy and life which some of the slower songs surround them lack. Dust Is Gone, a slow, minimalist track, lacks energy to the point where it's almost bad. It is a good song, no doubt about it, the lyrics are beautiful, and the music is too. It just seems like a bad fit amongst the rest of the album.
The song Slow Love however, is the complete opposite. Driven by percussion that could be described as space age Johnny Clegg, the song, although slow, is entertaining and easy to listen to. It doesn't take a conscious effort to appreciate. It is a perfect beginning to the end of the album, and one of my top tracks by MØ ever.Glass, an older song, follows this track to end the album. A good choice, full of life and energy, it is a song that showcases what originally bought MØ to the world's attention.
With that, the album is over. Luckily it is one of those albums that you could have on repeat all day. The only two issues I have with it are that it wasn't released three months ago so it could have been blasted over the holiday period all over the country's beaches. Now I will just have to settle with my headphones on the bus to uni. The other issue is that she did not put the Bikini Daze EP closing track Freedom #1 on the album. This track is one of my favourite songs by her and although it is slow and minimal on the music side, the lyrics and vocals on her behalf are so brilliant and emotionally vulnerable it would have been a welcome addition to this twelve-track work of art.
That is the best way to describe the music that MØ makes: it's art. Every song is layered with brass, guitars and synth lines all weaving in between ethereal vocal takes that make you jealous of her vocal ability. This album is a genius piece of work from one of the most exciting new talents in the music industry, and I look forward to more and more from her in the future.