Electropop | On The Record
August 25, 2011
Little Dragon have evolved from quiet students of soulful downtempo to the cool kids of electro-pop with third album Ritual Union. The Swedish band gets its edge from singer Yukimi Nagano, who makes everything sound invitingly exotic -- when she coyly demands, "Please turn," you better believe you will. Wacky clanks, sliding notes and reverberating bass round out the dreamy Casio-pop experience, which seamlessly flows from playful, mid-tempo lounge-funk ("Little Man," "Summertearz") to sleek, upbeat club fare ("Shuffle a Dream," "Nightlight").
This embarrassment of riches culls from three unreleased projects, Dream Factory, Crystal Ball and Camille. "If I Was Your Girlfriend" may be as disturbing a view of relationships Prince's ever made, but it's an exception amid bright and hooky pop-rock and funk tunes like "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker," "Forever in My Life," "Housequake" and the rapturous torch ballad "Adore." His optimism can't be dimmed -- even on the title track's blues about nuclear war and heroin junkies he sings, "Let's fall in love, get married, have a baby/ We'll call him Nate/ If it's a boy."