Reviewed by: Lauren Rosier
Today marks the release of So Good, the sophomore studio album from 19-year-old Swedish pop star, Zara Larsson. Though this is a huge release for Larsson in the United States, she was already a huge pop star in Europe from the release of two EPs, Introducing, and Let Me Reintroduce Myself.
Her debut studio LP, 1, was released in 2014, and two hit singles from So Good, “Lush Life” and “Never Forget You” (a collaboration with producer/artist, MNEK) were released in 2015. Those songs catapulted Larsson to the forefront of the music industry in the United States.
From start to finish, So Good is a solid collection of 15 songs built for mainstream Top 40 radio. Larsson possesses a voice that’s feminine, yet edgy and built for anything. For a young, 19-year-old, Larsson has a very powerful voice in more than one way.
On the opening track, “What They Say,” Larsson sings about going through hardships, believing in yourself, and being loyal. She sings “whatever you do just/don’t believe what they say/whatever you do/just don’t believe what they say/’cause they don’t believe in you/like I believe in you anyway/so whatever you do/whatever you do babe/just don’t believe what they/never lie/I’d go to the edge of the line/every time for you.” The song has a catchy beat, a great message, and Larsson’s voice really helps to emphasize the message of the song.
One of the strongest tracks on the record is the single, “I Would Like.” This song is one that seems like it could be a huge hit on Top 40 radio, as well as in the clubs. It’s an electro pop/dance song and I can only imagine what a sick remix would sound like from some of the top producers in the electronic dance music (EDM) scene. She shows her versatility on this song by going from a pop song like “Lush Life” to a track like “I Would Like.”
Larsson has been quoted as saying she is a feminist and on the track “Make That Money” she encourages females “to make that money girl.” She adds “why you so hesitant/you can be the next female president.” The track is designed to inspire and motivate females and it does just that.
Perhaps one of my favorite tracks on the record is “Ain’t My Fault,” an edgy pop song with some seriously sick hip hop and EDM beats. Another track that could propel Larsson further into the music industry.
Overall, the record is one that I was surprised about. She creates catchy pop songs that work in different sub-genres and she has the versatility to cross genre lines. All of this at 19 years old. Zara Larsson has what it takes to create a fan base whether it’s in pop music, EDM, or both, and become a huge star no matter what she does.