Elliphant: settling down for that golden life.
Swedish singer- songwriter, Elliphant, known for her reggae and EDM musical fusions, has released her second album, Living Life Golden. This Bob Marley-esque album doesn’t disappoint, however it seems to have taken her signature style down a notch. In this album, she gives off the image of a female Matisyahu or Soja, both popular reggae artists but with an electronic mix; thanks to collaborations with artists like Skrillex and Major Lazer.
No songs on this album match the intensity of one of her hit singles “Revolusion,” released back in 2014, but rather all songs have a chill tropical vibe to them. Focusing on a reggae-rap style, Elliphant seems to have settled to create more of a ‘pop’ album toning down the harsher EDM and reggae sounds from her past music. However, her music is definitely far from fitting into the ‘pop-music’ norms.
The album kicks off with two songs with some attitude and some good beats, “Step Down” and “Everybody.” Although “Everybody,” featuring Azealia Banks, does have quite repetitive lyrics, the high-speed beats and catchy melody will definitely make it a sing-a-long song during those car rides back home. Released as a single in 2015, “Love Me Badder” sounds like a reggae twist to the vocals of Tove Lo. This slower jam has more of a dark pop sound with some good old bedroom lyrics. Speaking out to the younger millennials about to embark into the real world, “Not Ready” is a low-key hit with a steady ska beat, making for an easy and chill listen. Elliphant expresses how she isn’t ready for reality and has a responsibility to “live life wild and free like a bird,” perhaps a feeling present-day youngins share. “Love Me Long” has potential to be a single on its own, featuring Major Lazer and Gyptian. It embraces the Major Lazer sound with the heavy hip moving beats and the vocals of Gyptian really compliment those of Elliphant’s.
“Hit and Run” has a steady electro build-up into a heavy beating bass melody, making it one of the better electronic reggae beat mash-ups on her album. “One More” features Mø, and surprisingly their vocals work together to create a pleasing duet alongside the heavy electronic synths and hooking drum beats. “Spoon Me,” featuring Skrillex, has quite humorous lyrics which describe the cuddling process in detail, such as “spoon me / hands on my boobie.” This song has the typical Skrillex electronic build-up; starting off with a simple xylophone-like background melody with Elliphant’s vocals into the clapping beats then building to electronic drop.
Elliphant’s 12-track album, Living Life Golden may come off as a bit uniformed to some. Many of the songs share the same persistent reggae beat with little to no changes when it comes to variety throughout the song. Although this album may not be exactly, well, golden, it is nice to see Elliphant stepping ground into the pop-sphere. It will be exciting to see if Elliphant decides to continue on this path with her music style, or if she will continue to surprise us with her unique genre mash-ups with her reggae style.