Review Summary: “I Don’t Care” for 33 minutes - take it or leave it.This Is… Icona Pop
is empty. Not in that totally-corporate-exec-controlled way we saw recently with The Strypes and Avicii which leaves the music hollow and soulless, but in the sense that every single word and synth note is totally and supremely vapid, devoid of all emotion and weight. Of course, that’s pretty much what Icona Pop proclaims itself to be - anyone who heard “I Don’t Care” on the radio sometime this summer can attest to the fact that the group seems to be “party, party, party” all the time. However, even given that the lead single was about as close to party-girl nirvana as possible, the duo’s debut full-length falls flat because whatever satisfying energy Icona Pop summoned on previous singles grates and annoys over the length of the LP’s 11 songs.
As a comparison point, think Teenage Dream
-era Katy Perry: sure, the singles alone, while rather homogenous are arguably aurally pleasing and fun to listen to. Slap 11 or 12 of said singles onto a CD, though, and the whole thing suffers. In terms of musicianship, the two albums are surprisingly similar as well: generic four-on-the-floor club beats back the two women of Icona Pop singing the same part, colorless stadium-filling choruses abound, and the whole thing would sound right at home on both the local pop station and the local EDM station (though it’s curious that Perry hasn’t found a home on dance radio, a fate Icona Pop could suffer as well given the right marketing). And to an extent vacuous club music isn’t such a bad thing: this succeeds where similar albums fail in that it actually kind of sounds honest
, like the duo really gives a shi
t about the music they make instead of viewing it as a moneymaking solution. Plus, barring the insufferable music nerds who refuse to admit the odd bland house tune can be enjoyable given the right circumstances (friends, parties, etc.), Icona Pop’s music is made so that it’ll go off at parties everywhere, from high school dances to the office party with a DJ. It’s freakin’ fun
, and though that alone doesn’t make a good album the raw, inebriated energy Icona Pop brings here has been seriously lacking in club music for the past few years.
However, even given that the album is trashily enjoyable, it doesn’t change the point that it’s vapid as hell. Pretty much every song is about the stereotypical just-out-of-college nightlife - partying, the weekend, relationships, trouble with said relationships, friends. When the most well-crafted and meaningful line on the whole album is “All I need in this life of sin is me and my girlfriend,” something’s probably wrong, and Icona Pop is not an exception to the rule. It’s not wrong to enjoy the group as a guilty pleasure - hell, I’ll probably find myself jamming “All Night” or “Then We Kiss” sometime soon. However, in terms of actually deriving some sort of non-superficial satisfaction from an album, This Is… Icona Pop
unfortunately won’t satisfy anyone’s fix.