Zara Larsson – when edm is So Good

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Fallen in love with and become obsessed with dance music over the past – probably few years, but that’s grown from love to obsession over the past number of months.
Searched for some new jams last week.
Saw Zara Larsson’s recent album release So Good.
Swedish singer songwriter.
I love edm.
I love new music.
I love listening to women in music.
Downloaded So Good.
And So Good is so good.
Because dance beats are like nothing else.
So Good album review:
(1.) What They Say
The album’s opening track is mid-tempo. Synth keyboards back Zara up with sustained chord progressions in the verse. The tempo picks-up in the pre-chorus and chorus. A hip-hop beat kicks in during the chorus.
The tempo stays steady. The instrumentation lets up during the bridge – it’s light and full instrumentation comes back in for the final chorus.
The chorus is the song’s emphasis – with lots of lyric repetition.
[Chorus]
Whatever you do, just don’t believe what they say
Whatever you do, just don’t believe what they say
‘Cause they don’t believe you like I believe in you anyway
So whatever you do, whatever you do, babe
Just don’t believe what they say, what they say

(2.) Lush Life
Feel good, uptempo dance number. Summer song. Could be song of the summer?
(3.) I Would Like
Catchy dance rhythm.
Light percussion.
Minimalist instrumentation in the chorus.
Because a catchy vocal melody is everything.
(4.) So Good
The album’s title track opens like a 1950’s-esque a capella group, repeating the song’s title.
Bass guitar.
Bass drum.
So Good.
(5.) TG4M
Dance rhythm bass line is prominent in this number. Drums kick in as the verse progresses. Rhythmic dance layers make this song rich in creative detail. This number is not TG4M.
(6.) Only You
A high-pitched instrumental intro opens, and drops to rhythm (guitars) for the verse. The instrumental intro theme opens again for the pre-chorus and chorus. Sentimental romantic ballad.
(7.) Never Forget You
The song opens with Zara singing fast. Feels like a pre-verse introduction. (Like a recitative, if you study classical music).
Steady and sustained bass line progression guides the verse along.
The pop drop happens after the first chorus. The tempo picks up, drums kick in. Pure pop drop instrumental bliss.
(8.) Sundown
The song opens with Wizkid rapping. The song features lyrical repetition.
Don’t check the time, time, time, time
Should be me that you’re watching
What’s on your mind, mind, mind, mind
Say you can’t keep me off it
Lips might lie, lie, lie, lie
But my heart beating honest
But my heart beating honest
 
So can we love now
‘Cause I don’t, I don’t wanna wait until the sundown
So can we love now
‘Cause I don’t, I don’t wanna wait until the sundown
 
Don’t wanna wait ’til sundown
Don’t wanna wait ’til sundown
Don’t wanna wait ’til sundown, no
Don’t wanna wait ’til sundown
Don’t wanna wait ’til sundown
Don’t wanna wait ’til sundown, no
The result? A song that can get stuck in your head.
The songwriters have done their job and have done their job well.
(9.) Don’t Let Me Be Yours
E Major. Acoustic guitar gives this song an intimate feeling.
An anthem-ballad? If that’s a thing?
More guitars and bass come in as the song progresses.
And a dance rhythm comes in for the chorus with a descending bass line.
The kind of song that gives you the chills.
(10.) Make That Money Girl
Girl power feminist anthem.
Slow jam.
Bass guitar.
Bass drum.
The vocal melody doesn’t span a wide range.
The chorus lyrics repeat the song’s title: “Make that money girl.”
The verses illustrate the song’s message:
Get up on the throne (Queen)
Get up on the throne, that’s where you belong
So get up on the throne (Queen)
Sylvia Rhone, can you hear me say
Floor to the ceilin’ (Slay)
Stack money, stack millions (Slay)
Oh, what a feelin’ (Slay)
Julie Swidler run the buildin’ everyday
We don’t run from the devil, don’t work for the police
Stay up on a level so high they can’t reach (Queen)
So get up on the throne (Queen)
‘Cause you know, they call you one in a million
So get you all of that millions, yeah eh
The second verse elaborates on possibility:
Why you so hesitant?
You can be the next female President
Livin’ proof, check the evidence
Me and you, yeah, heaven sent
Don’t run from the devil, don’t work for the police
Stay up on a level so high they can’t reach (Queen)
So get up on the throne (Queen)
‘Cause you own it, they call you one in a million
So get you all of that millions, yeah eh
Anthems like these are important now more than ever.
(11.) Ain’t My Fault
 
My favourite track on this album. Catchy and fast, this song features anaphora – a poetic device repeating a phrase – in this case, “It ain’t my fault” throughout the verse – and closing the chorus.
 
It ain’t my fault you keep turning me on
It ain’t my fault you got, got me so gone
It ain’t my fault I’m not leaving alone
It ain’t my fault you keep turning me on
 
No, I can’t be responsible
If I get you in trouble now
See you’re too irresistible
Yeah that’s for sure
 
So if I put your hands where my eyes can’t see
Then you’re the one who’s got a hold on me
No, I can’t be responsible, responsible
It ain’t my fault
 
It ain’t my fault (no, no, no, no)
It ain’t my fault (no, no, no, no)
Great songwriting technique – and in this instance is brilliant.
 
(12.) One Mississippi
 
The song opens with the chorus instead of a verse. The verse lyric smoothly transitions back to the chorus.
 
One Mississippi, you’re here
Lovin’ me with your whole heart
And two Mississippi, we scream
To watch each other fall apart
Three Mississippi, you’re gone
Sayin’ that you’re done, you don’t want it no more
And four Mississippi, you’re home
Like nothin’ ever happened at all
 
Why do I stay?
I know I should leave
Mascara fallin’ down my cheek
But you pull me in and make me forget
About the broken glass on our skin
We don’t get scared when the sirens come
A little fucked up ’cause we think it’s fun
We kiss just to make up, we love just to break up
We head for disaster, but live for the danger
We count
 
One Mississippi, you’re here
Lovin’ me with your whole heart
And two Mississippi, we scream
To watch each other fall apart
Three Mississippi, you’re gone
Sayin’ that you’re done, you don’t want it no more
And four Mississippi, you’re home
Like nothin’ ever happened at all
A dreamy slow jam. Mellow C minor magic. Tension waiting to explode.
(13.) Funeral
Synth strings open this number. Seems like it’s going to be a sentimental ballad. Drums kick in during the verse and it turns into a fast-paced breakup lament.
Simile and imagery in the chorus are a creative songwriting take on a timeless topic.
[Chorus]
 
I wish you everything you’ve ever wanted in your life
This tastes so bittersweet, it’s like I’m going under
Burn all the letters, all of my secrets, things only you know
Bury my heart six feet under, throw us a funeral
I wish you everything you’ve ever wanted in your life.
(14.) I Can’t Fall in Love Without You
The sixteenth-note pulse introduction slows down a bit to an eighth-note pulse.
Sounds like a slow jam. And when you’ve got a song, in 4/4 time, with a quarter note pulse going at 120 beats per minute – that beat feels fairly fast in pop or rock, but more mid-tempo in electronic dance music.
Upbeat inspiration from an amazing woman in music. Add Zara Larsson’s jams to your listening stream.
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