When Icona Pop’s Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo gleefully exclaim “I crashed my car into the bridge/ I watched, I let it burn” on “I Love It”, it’s implied that nuance and restraint were left in the trunk bound and gagged. As is the case with every other form of pop, a Swedish group comes along to do it better, and Icona Pop is here to show the world what it really means to embrace maximalism.
Breakthrough single “I Love It” is the kind of song that people, especially older generations, love to hate. Loud and unashamedly brash, Icona Pop delivers every song with a shout-along urgency, never stopping for a breather. And forget waiting for “the drop”: “I Love It” is two and a half minutes of dirty electro spiraling down a pit with no bottom. Whether it’s irritating or cathartic depends on the ear of the beholder. Regardless, the infectiousness of “I Love It” is impossible to ignore.
The rest of The Iconic fails to make quite the devastating impact of its breakthrough single, with “Good for You” and “Top Rated” continuing that massive, hyper-sound, but offering little more than shiny hooks. Also notable is “Manners”, which remains catchy despite (or because of) a welcome element of weirdness in a soundtrack that is best described as robotic flatulence. Icona Pop goes further than capturing the youthful sounds of 2012 on The Iconic; it’s the “couldn’t care less,” “anything goes” spirit that’s been documented.
Essential Tracks: “I Love It”, “Manners”