Eight or nine years ago the Review Corner was in a trendy shop that sold ornaments and knick-knacks, and Little Dragon’s debut (called Little Dragon) was playing.
We stopped to chat with the owner about how good Little Dragon were, how much we liked them and how they deserved to be big. A decade on, we could probably have the same conversation, just wondering what went wrong and how they never again quite hit the heights of Little Dragon. That album is a delight, a cool mix of trip hop, electronica and RnB, held together by the voice of singer Yukimi Nagano. Since then they’ve leaned this way and that — gone more electronic, gone more RnB — but never quite hit that mix of sophistication and youthful enthusiasm.
This album is more pop and dreamier, and sees Little Dragon continue to march to the beat of their own drum. Opener Celebrate is about as close to a Prince song as anyone is going to get, with a funky sound, synth effects and a shimmery guitar solo courtesy of Agge. But the next song, High slows it all down and goes all dreamy electronica. The song titles often sum up the song: Sweet is a little saccharine, Butterflies flutters around and Strobe Light is, er, very strobey.
There are flashes of the old gentle trip hop sound but this album is dreamier and smoother. It’s still great, if you want pop/electronica to chill out to while feeling a sophisticate.