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Review: Little Dragon stretches sound on new album

Tuesday - 5/13/2014, 3:50pm  ET

SIAN WATSON
Associated Press

Little Dragon, "Nabuma Rubberband" (Seven Four Entertainment/Republic)

Three years after the release of its 2011 breakthrough, Little Dragon returns with the quirky sounding and titled "Nabuma Rubberband."

After gaining underground prominence with tracks such as "Twice" and "Ritual Union," Swedish electronic band Little Dragon's fourth studio album "Nabuma Rubberband" references the group's earlier records while pushing the boundaries of its electronic soul sound farther.

Opening track "Mirror" harks back to the stark simplicity of "Twice," relying heavily on vocals provided by singer Yukimi Nagano. Yet the song uses dramatic keyboard to make it seem almost spooky. The introduction of a pounding drumbeat toward the end of the track allows variation in the song. The lead track oozes synth and progresses into a twinkling vibrato toward the track's conclusion.

Nagano claims she got inspiration from listening to the likes of Prince and Janet Jackson's slow jams and the basic keyboard in "Paris" even seems to reference Kraftwerk with Nagano's smooth voice uttering melancholic lyrics: "Remember you said it was Paris/You said we were gonna meet?"

"Nabuma Rubberband" requires some patience. Lead single "Klapp Klapp" is the only track that really jumps out at you on first listen. But an eclectic concoction of synth-heavy tracks emerges with multiple listens.


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