Album Review: Season High


‘Season High’ is the fifth studio album of the Swedish Electro-Pop band, Little Dragon.  Released on April 14, 2017, the album is an experimentation of Funk, Pop and 80s R&B. The album creates an atmosphere of pure musical pleasure filled with a flirtatiousness that is overwhelming and encompassing.  ‘Season High’ includes 8 tracks featuring lead singles “High,” “Sweet” and “Celebrate.” The album is a sugar rush of artsy dance-pop.

The album is like a soulful dreamy gauze compact with lead singer Yukimi Nagano’s haunting and mournful voice that collides with transcendental songs reminiscent to Prince’s “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and Me’Shell Ndegecello’s “Fool of Me.” Like on the melodic poem, “Don’t Cry,” the song sounds like a requiem for a former lover. She laments, “My love is like a real obsession/ The way I dream of you/ When your peace flew closer with the wings of doves/ Don’t weep, don’t weep, no more.” “Don’t Cry” succeeds because of Nagano’s sorrowful vocal presence that ultimately exposes the disorienting and at times, startlingly weird ambience of the album.

The album’s standout track is the single “Strobe Light,” It is a honeyed, disco number that exemplifies Little Dragon’s spiritual art. Nagano sings over an Alexander O’Neal-like beat, “You’re smiling, teeth glowing/ The angels stay in/ Have a taste, a taste of soul reborn again.” Invoking Minnie Riperton’s “Adventures in Paradise”, the song is about immersing oneself in the sweetness of music. The video for “Strobe Light” is nothing short of a masterpiece. The video is shot in home-video style footage that follows two South African men dressed in colorful gowns dancing around Johannesburg absorbed in musical pleasure and freedom. The directors of the video, Kristin Lee Moolman and IB Kamara state, “We wanted to make a film that celebrates two dancers from Johannesburg and that feeling of being young and creating your own universe within your environment and being able to express yourself in any shape or form.”

At times, some song rhythms sound like they should be played while Mario eats a super mushroom. This album is beautiful, romantic, syrupy, bitter, hideous and depressing. It truly offers an otherworldly experience that enraptures the listener like how a bee drowns in honey. ‘Season High’ receives 10 out of 10 stars.