Kygo’s sophomore album ‘Kids in Love’ misses the mark on originality

Kygo failed to make his tracks memorable for listeners' ears.

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Kygo released his new album, Kids in Love, Nov. 3 after teasing with several singles throughout the year. Despite having several notable features, Kygo — originally a producer from Norway — fails to bring any originality or inspiration throughout the album.

Kygo has previously been known for his notable sound and simple, upbeat tracks. However, Kids in Love takes a turn for a more pop-centric song selection. Instead of concentrating on the underlying electronic production like his previous work, Kygo focuses on his featured singers throughout the album. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the problem lies with the song lyrics and generic-sounding beats that fall in the background.

Unlike other electronic artists that almost exclusively collaborate with singers on tracks, Kygo fails to bring in vocals and lyrics that draw on emotions and experiences. Take Calvin Harris’ recent album — not only did he have a powerhouse of artists featured, such as Frank Ocean and Pharrell Williams, but he also created catchy beats that complemented the vibe of each song. Kygo fails to do this, and does not make up for the vocals with original sound production either.

Kids in Love lacks the authentic originality of other electronic artists, and even Kygo’s earlier work. “Never Let You Go” features John Newman, a singer-songwriter from England. Though it is the first track on the album, the lyrics do not build anticipation for the following songs. We hear him croon “Cuz this is amazing, running wild with you/ I will never let you go, never let you go.” The chorus sounds like any generic pop song, and the drumline beat in the background fails to bring texture to the track. Another track, “Permanent” entails a similar structure; a classic piano beat with snapping leads into the lyrics, “I’m falling to pieces/we held the world/for a moment there it was permanent.” It is a song about fleeting love, except it was literally described as fleeting love.

Not every song on the album is bad — in fact, none of the songs are truly bad. They are worthy of a listen and some are even catchy enough to sing along to. “Riding Shotgun” is a roll-your-windows-down-type pop anthem, and “Stranger Things” features the familiar voice of OneRepublic. All in all, the songs are enjoyable, but definitely do not qualify as memorable.

The music featured in Kids in Love stays true to that theme. Each song is meant to portray the feeling of young, naive, wistful love. However, each song repeats the same references to this kind of love we all have heard too many times — late night car rides, someone keeping you up at night, waiting at the sunrise. Each song fails to draw on the deeper meanings of being in love.

Perhaps the point is that Kids in Love draws on the fact that it’s just young love, and raw emotion isn’t something that is part of that experience. Even if this is the case, Kygo had an opportunity to bring something new to his album and the potential to evolve into an even greater contributor to music production. Perhaps he will take this risk in the future, but for now, Kids in Love remains locked in an uninspired place between pop and electronic music.

Grade: B-

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