Karoshi Lovers - Death Pop

12 songs
37:43 minutes
***** *


Earlier this year, Karoshi Lovers’ debut The Revolution Is Over was one of the most promising debuts I have heard in a long time, even if the band didn’t yet grow to their fullest potential. As that album came out in their native country Finland already in 2008, it shouldn’t surprise so much that the follow-up Death Pop has been released so soon after.

Unfortunately their new record can’t really convince me, despite repeated listening, as much as the predecessor. The band is still opting for a mix of pop, indie and dance, but they never achieve the same original deftness than before. Only I’m Not Bad Like Michael Jackson can keep that high level. Actually most songs are quite alright, but they could definitely sound more freaked out. The production, although done with enough punch, has turned out too clean, in a way that the songs seem to aim rather at a pop audience. Vocalist Mrs Stress has a nice voice reminding somewhat of Debbie Harry and Kate Pierson, but she also doesn’t sound as freakish as on the debut. The songs have also turned out shorter than on the debut. Although both albums have more or less the same running time, we get this time twelve instead of nine songs. At times they even sound quite identical, making it hard to discern one from another. Highlights include Working Girl and Junkie Eye where the organ adds a certain retro feeling, but otherwise the album contains too much average material to truly entertain.

Maybe Death Pop came about half a year too early. The ideas are there, but often they don’t feel fully worked out. I am a little disappointed as I definitely expected more of Karoshi Lovers after their stellar debut.

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