Swedish exports Icona Pop have had a pretty enjoyable rise. Having been taken on by New York Atlantic-offspring label Big Beat Records (Skrillex, Flux Pavilion, Metronomy) in America and having had nods from Mercury to Kitsune here in the UK, their Nights Like This EP came through to an interesting buzz. Now with the likes of hype artist Charli XCX on board, is their six-track offering, the “Iconic EP” actually worth all of the attention?
Opening with the aforementioned Charli XCX featuring track I Love It; you’re instantly thrown into a world that looks and sounds a lot like the kind of music that not only graces the dance tents at festivals, but seeps out across the whole festival. I Love It crosses the upbeat bass of modern Ibiza and the catchy sounds of both Black Kids and the Naked and Famous in a hugely enjoyable opener. If I were to be anal, I’d suggest that the second track; Ready For the Weekend (hello Calvin Harris) should be the opening track as it has the kind of sound that you’d hear regurgitated by a host of djs in *Club Venue, Little Townsville*, but given the diversity of each track on the EP, its hardly fair to suggest this has a huge impact on the enjoyability. Good For You is the first genuinely weak track on the EP in that it’s every euro-pop track that made it to the states in the late-nineties all over again and frankly, it grates the ears.
Fortunately, if you’re after a big pop track, the only other “new” track on the record is the one for you. Top Rated is better than anything Katy Perry has released in years and a rich dance sound without having to listen to David fuck-face Guetta. The remaining two tracks on the record are tracks taken from the previous EP; each of them moderately enjoyable in their own right but with little place in the 2012 release.
Lots of buzz, a hype artist and a heck of a lot of pop cliché’s, but in these six tracks; Icona Pop display that whether they’re nicking track titles from Calvin Harris and Passion Pit or taking a few too many hints from Madeon and other chart breaking contemporaries, they can still make it their own. Whether it’s all worth it though, I’m not sold.