Name a party you’ve been to where “I Love It” hasn’t been playing this past year, and you’ll be lying to yourself. You walk into a restaurant; you turn on the radio; you enter a dining hall – inevitably, Icona Pop’s smash single is playing. Maybe you’ve indulged in a partial ‘shouting’ match upon hearing the song a la Girls. Admittedly, “I Love It” more than likely composed the soundtrack of your summer, and it launched Icona Pop, to crossover success in the U.S. However, the Swedish duo doesn’t intend to become stigmatized as one-hit wonders. Instead, Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo of Icona Pop intend to prove their longevity in the pop world with their latest album, “This Is…Icona Pop.”
Icona Pop decides to begin the album with the top 10 Billboard charting single. Serving as the introductory track, “I Love It” embraces its success, catalyzing a transition into showing listeners what else Icona Pop has to offer. The track that follows it, “All Night,” is the most similar to their breakout single. It’s a slightly toned down offering compared to “I Love It,” but “All Night” continues Icona Pop’s brand of energetic songs fulfilled by upbeat guitars and synthesizers.
Icona Pop delivers with a solid, danceable album, but the overwhelming struggle seems to be that they aren’t pushing the envelope — there is nothing here more attention-grabbing than “I Love It.” While songs such as “We Got The World” and “Just Another Night” are impressive, it’s difficult for Icona Pop to live up to their first single’s success. “We Got The World” is the epitome of an EDM track, high-intensity with an overall youthful energy. However, the lyrics remain simple (“But we’re just living life and we never stop, we got the world”), so that songs will easily embed themselves in listeners’ minds — catchy. “Just Another Night” differs in its presence, showcasing vocal delivery. Rather than focusing on cheerfulness entirety, Icona Pop takes a step back with the ballad “Just Another Night” , presenting listeners with their remarkable vocals. However, aside from a handful of songs, most songs serve as fillers, leaving listeners to question Icona Pop’s longevity.
Perhaps, the album title embodies the duo impeccably. The 11-song release is Icona Pop: full of energy, contagious hooks, and lyricism that lacks depth. This is pop music that embodies joy and a carefree psych, demonstrating how Icona Pop has mastered their genre.
And yet, while Icona Pop continues to deliver, the duo displays how they aren’t producing anything revolutionary. While remarkable at their niche, Icona Pop isn’t original and the music they produce has been done before: the duo just does it better than most. If anything, Hjelt and Jawo prove their dominance over the genre, showing that though there may not be incredible originality. For now, Icona Pop remains to dominate and captivate, but the question is: for how long?