Released on January 11, 2022 (Lily Löwe)
I can’t remember exactly how I became aware of Norwegian singer Lily Löwe but after hearing her song “Scream”, I thought that it was a no brainer that I should be picking up her debut album Löwe. I’ve always been a sucker for a great female voice over some hard rock or metal music and “Scream” sounded so powerful that I was just hoping for more of the same for the rest of the album. As it turns out, that is not the case as the raw classic rock infused and Led Zeppelin-ish (think “Black Dog”) “Scream” turned out to be an anomaly on the record. I hate that when that happens!
While I thought that I would be getting some straight ahead classic rock on Löwe, it turned out to be more of a modern type record with sometimes a flurry of too many instruments going at the same time. I always like the stripped down approach to songs but the keyboard overlay on the guitars just screams “modern” sounding drivel. The highlight of the album is no doubt the song that put Lily Löwe on the map during Eurovision‘s Melodi Grand Prix 2022 semi-final. I’m talking about “Bad Baby” which is definitely the catchiest song on Lily Löwe‘s debut album. The single does have some modern elements to it but it’s really hard not to sing along to the chorus section.
Unfortunately, after those two songs, the album seems closer to Evanescence‘s hit single “Bring Me To Life” than the classic rock tunes that I was hoping for. Not that Evanescence‘s “Bring Me To Life” is a bad song or anything but it’s not what I gravitate to on a usual basis. The second song on Löwe — “Crying Game” — starts with some almost falsetto singing from the female singer. Initially, it was a bit of a shock to my system but the rest of the track isn’t bad but sandwiched between standouts “Scream” and “Bad Baby”, it really feels like a filler track. “911” is probably my favorite track after the two aforementioned standout tracks. The verses are a nice showcase for Löwe‘s vocals and it has a catchy chorus section. I was secretly hoping that “Caught In A Dream” was a cover of the Alice Cooper classic but alas, that was not the case. More falsetto type singing starts off the song before it really kicks off. I am not sure who is the guitarist in the band but whomever it is delivered a blistering guitar solo.
“Daddy’s Type” starts off with a simple but cool guitar riff before the song goes the modern route with a smorgasbord of instruments which kind of ruins the song. Whenever the track goes back to the verses with less instruments and the more stripped guitar sound which highlights Löwe‘s singing, the song is so much more enjoyable. “Handsome Whore” seems to explore a number of styles all in one song. The chorus is pretty catchy despite the overabundance of keyboards. “So Long” is a peppy catchy number that works quite well. “Run.” closes the album with some modern sounding music and the requisite slow verses. Kind of weird that the three-letter song title has a period at the end.
Overall, I see the album as a combination of styles mash-mashed into one. Some songs work better than others. Obviously, I like the poppier and more classic sounding rockers over the modern-ish tunes. There are probably four songs that I really like (“Scream”, “Bad Baby”, “911” and “So Long”) and I wouldn’t be heartbroken if I never heard the rest of the tracks on Lily Löwe‘s debut album. At the end of the day, Löwe is truly a hit and miss affair.
02. Crying Game
03. Bad Baby
05. Caught In A Dream
06. Daddy’s Type
07. Handsome Whore
08. So Long
Lily Löwe – lead vocals
Produced by Trond Holter
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, February 2023
Lily Löwe‘s “Scream” video:
Lily Löwe‘s “Bad Baby” video: