Icona Pop - This Is ...

Whether 2013 will go down as a classic year for pop music we'll leave for the historians to decide, but when someone does finally put finger to iPad, the name Icona Pop will surely loom large. In a strange gestation period, their big international hit 'I Love It' didn't get an official release in the UK until more than 12 months after it first appeared; despite the fact it went on to secure a number one, it's hard to imagine how many sales were lost in the intervening period. The track's ubiquity has made for good profile and no doubt Atlantic are hoping for similar success from the supporting album.

In some ways, This Is ... loses its appeal just by being too nice; it needs to 'put your shit into a bag' a few more times. Numbers such as 'All Night' or the soft girl power of 'Girlfriend' succeed as hands-in-the-air pop anthems, but they lack much character or anything to make IP particularly distinctive. For want of a better comparison, Icona Pop are no Shampoo and if they ever had any real edge, its been rubbed down and Turtlewaxed by a supposed need to appeal to a wider international audience. Aside from that track, only closer 'Then We Kiss' - with its batshit 'Crazy Frog'-meets-Plastic-Bertrand air - really stands out. The album's brevity (only 33 minutes) is a plus, and while it's an enjoyably corny half-hour, This Is ... misses the opportunity to be the backseat soundtrack of choice for recalcitrant teenagers on the night bus home.



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