Tove Lo’s sophomore effort Lady Wood, her most honest music yet, follows up the Swedish singer’s renowned debut album Queen of the Clouds with a two-part exploration of the initial highs and aftermath of a relationship. Lady Wood‘s cover photo illustrates the Swede’s ringed fingers pulling at her washed-out denim shorts, likewise to Madonna’s Like a Prayer. The Queen of the Clouds has cited the Queen of Pop as an influence, but the comparisons end there as Lady Wood is bonded with modern pop trends.
While Queen of the Clouds featured numerous seismic anthems in “Habits (Stay High)” and “Talking Body,” the vibe from Lady Wood is much more subdued. Outside “True Disaster,” there’s few songs that would live in Tove Lo’s debut musical world of club bangers. Instead, Lady Wood is an example of a singer/songwriter coming into her own as an artist – an illustration of Tove Lo’s growth and maturation.
Unlike her debut record, Lady Wood is split into two sides, “Fairy Dust” and “Fire Fade” (an idea that’s built for vinyl). The first half dives into the rush of the initial lust in a relationship before the aftermath kicks in on side B. Take “Influence,” the second track featuring Wiz Khalifa’s guest vocals, for example – “Boy meets, boy meets / Girl meets girl / This is the best place in the world, ooh.” The arousal and meaning is clearly apparent, but within a handful of songs the initial excitement caves in on itself with “WTF Love Is” – “I got fire eyes, glitter in my tear lines / And I’m coming down, ready for some new sounds.”
In comparison to the pleasure and bright, big hooks that Queen of the Clouds brought, Lady Wood doesn’t quite rival the three-part record. However, Tove Lo’s sophomore effort Lady Wood stands alone stylistically as she exhibits confidence and growth as an artist, more interested in creating what she wants, which in this case is the celebration of self and finding closure in cloudy situations.