Album Review: Little Dragon – Slugs Of Love – “As Gentle As It Is Dynamic”
Marching into their third decade as a band, Little Dragon, the Swedish foursome, remain undeterred in shaping their unique musical voice. Their latest record, Slugs Of Love, beautifully weaves electronica, soulful pop, and mesmerizing beats into a tapestry of sound that is as gentle as it is dynamic.
Slugs Of Love delves into the intricate themes of love and connection. Yukimi Nagano, the band’s lead vocalist, uses her distinctive soul-infused voice to seamlessly tie the album together. Her dulcet vocals drift effortlessly over the collection of trip-hop-influenced tracks, imparting a mystical and enduring character to each track.
A standout track, “Disco Dangerous,” channels vintage funk vibes with a twist of modern grooves. While Nagano’s breathy and otherworldly vocals remain ever-present, it’s the irresistible bassline and uptempo drums that make the song feel reminiscent to an early Chaka Khan record. It’s a testament to Little Dragon‘s adeptness at creating catchy melodies while maintaining their unique contemporary sound.
Previous single release, “Gold,” is another gem on the record. Self-described as “a reflection on the riches that money can’t buy,” this R&B-infused track is both magnetic and enchanting, carried by the rhythmic bassline and Nagano’s soulful rendition. It skillfully treads the line between reminiscence and modernity.
Listen to Little Dragon’s “Gold” below
“Tumbling Dice” is a hidden treasure, loaded with positivity and an infectious ’90s hip-hop swagger. Coupled with Nagano’s velvet vocals and lyrics about embracing the moment, the track exudes an irresistible charm that is sure to make it a fan favorite. Closing with the line, “in the end, if we cry for forgiveness, let’s die for those beautiful times,” the lyrics encapsulate the fundamental theme of the album – a seamless fusion of nostalgia for cherished moments, recognition of past mistakes, and a yearning for redemption.
Despite its many strengths, Slugs Of Love does have its weaker moments. Some tracks fade into the background, and at times, the band’s potential to fully exploit their unique sound feels untapped. However, these minor hiccups do not diminish the overall brilliance of the album.
In Slugs Of Love, Little Dragon demonstrate an advanced understanding of their musical scope, gifting fans a compelling showcase of their artistic talent. The album confirms that Little Dragon‘s ability to craft engaging music is far from exhausted, even three decades later.
Slugs Of Love is out now via Ninja Tune.