Nabuma Rubberband

Nabuma Rubberband

The fourth studio album by Sweden’s Little Dragon is exactly what it should be; Nabuma Rubberband follows the band’s trajectory from playful electro-jazz hinting at pop to its mirrored opposite. Their intoxicating brand of seductive electronic music tempers any commercial excess, resulting in a more accessible collection that's sophisticated and complex. Singer Yukimi Nagano has a jazzy soul feel that delivers a punch when needed (as on the lone hard-edged tune, “Klapp Klapp”), and, according to interviews, she unabashedly pays homage to the sultry side of Janet Jackson (Jackson’s “really slow stuff” makes “you feel like you’re floating,” she told Rolling Stone). Indeed, tracks like “Mirror” and “Pretty Girls” ooze with an '80s R&B velvety-ness that runs on the fumes of chillwave, but a hazy cloud envelopes ”Pink Clouds” and “Only One.” Janet’s brother Michael flavors some of the more pop-oriented songs like “Paris” and the strings- and fingersnap-flavored title track, while the subdued swagger of downtempo club music swirls through “Underbart.” Little Dragon aren’t afraid of the “P” word (pop); they’ve mastered the art of sifting it to save the finer parts.

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