Album review | Pop

Tove Lo, ‘Queen of the Clouds’

Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Lo, who has been riding the wave of her self-medicating pop provocation “Habits,” follows that breakout hit with this seemingly autobiographical, highly addictive debut. The effervescent electro-pop set is divided into three self explanatory sections: “The Sex,” “The Love,” and “The Pain.” The pleasures here remain on the surface, as there’s little mystery in the 26-year-old’s exploration of her primal emotions. The lyrical immediacy of the words serves her best when dealing with passion and hurt, but when she tries to excavate the mysteries of love, complexity eludes her. There’s no denying the thrills of the appropriately titled “Timebomb,” hooky, hormone-raging “My Gun,” and feral “Talking Body,” which evokes the rush of early Madonna. The final third includes “Habits” and elevates the record after a sketchy midsection, featuring an adolescent “Moments” and much too obvious “Not on Drugs” (I’m not on drugs/I’m just in love”). “Thousand Miles” pulsates with nostalgic yearning, and a blast of neo-disco, “Run on Love,” closes things on a blissful high. (Out Tuesday)KEN CAPOBIANCO

ESSENTIAL “Timebomb”


Ken Capobianco can be reached at