Beauty is Pain is the latest project from Sweden’s Rebecca & Fiona. The lyrics on this project span love, hate, strange apocalyptic imagery and candy love. “Candy Love” is the first single released off the album and was released with a music video. The video is a collage of Rebecca and Fiona putting on make-up and drinking champagne interspersed with random clips of tour footage made to look like old news reels. There are less than subtle messages about how beauty is something “They” (the proverbial “They”) use to control people and how it can drive you crazy.
There are deeper meanings than meet the eye behind most of the songs, but it feels like most of the sentiment is lost on the poppy vibe. Perhaps that’s the point– to doll up these ugly themes in a way that’s easier to digest. Most of the songs bring these metaphors, though, back to being about a love affair.
The songs that succeed the most are the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously. “Machine” delights with lyrics like “I’m a living machine though my circuits are real / My heart is banging against the steel.” Way deep down there, you can dig up an interpretation that’s something like, “DJs are jukeboxes with a pulse and there is, like, mad juxtaposition and dramatic tension in existing between those poles,” or maybe Rebecca and Fiona think it’s fun to pretend to be a robot. The final track, “Heavy,” is definitely going to be on rotation this summer on the festival circuit. The massive synths, driving beat and lyrics dealing with lasers will get a big reaction from crowds.
Beauty is Pain is fun if you let it be. Don’t think too hard about it. Throw on a Nicki Minaj wig, some throwback Spice Girl platform shoes, and develop a bad relationship with someone. Then just dance.