I’ve been trying to find the words to classify Loopified. Yes, I have heard fusion pop, but I had to define it for my own listening experience. It’s been an interesting listen and a definite departure from the Top 40 pop songs I’m used to clouding up (or clogging) the radio. No Flo-Rida fans were harmed during that last sentence- i hope. So, in the spirit of journalistic audibles, I’m going to make up the phrase “precision pop” to categorize the Dirty Loops‘ debut album. The record is much like the band’s aura coming into the music industry. It’s definitive to it’s structure and well thought out. It’s catchy, but also chock full of music theory and technical prowess. There are two types of audiences that Loopified will cater to – those who want catchy, quotable songs and those who like musicianship. Those audiences do not generally go together as it’s literally like mixing oil and water, which will make the reception all the more intriguing.
One has to understand that half of this album are covers of previously made song (American release has three extra covers). The band takes on hits such as “Wake Me Up” and “Baby” by Avicii and Justin Bieber respectively. The group definitely puts their own spin on these tracks most often adding a jazz-like breakdown or a small jam session. The cover of “Wake Me Up” was interesting because it was changed almost into a soulful lullaby for the interior of it. Vocalist/Pianist Jonah Nilsson voice has a Stevie Wonder/Justin Timberlake like sound here and throughout the whole album. “Roller Coaster” is complete with a sax and trumpet section that gives the Justin Bieber extra um-mph that is reminiscent of early 90’s Michael Jackson tracks. Covers can get stale if they are just done in the exact same style that the original artist intended. Dirty Loops manage to keep the heart of what we are familiar with and add their own musical fusion based composition.
The meat and potatoes of Loopified are the eleven original tracks that are written by the band that skates around all the crevices of pop music. They are fun, catchy and addicting – I mean, this is coming from someone that’s been on a diet from pop music. “Hit Me” combines what you would love from old 80’s style dance hits with an infectious melody spearheaded by the rhythm section of bass guitarist Henrik Linder and drummer Aron Mellergard. Matter of fact, there are many instances where the group will have these spontaneous jams in between songs where Linder and Mellergard showcase their technical prowess which is going to catch the conventional listener off guard. There’s a drum solo within the “The Way She Walks” by Mellergard that might make Buddy Rich fans jump out of their seats. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – I commend Dirty Loops to sticking to their musical vision. When I listen to music, I look for layers as to the prototypical radio listener – the jam sessions might be a bit overwhelming with there being many. Again – not a bad thing as the group knows how to walk the line between mainstream and something deeper for the most part.
“Die For You” is the best example of this. Nilsson’s keyboards pass well for a great electronic track that you would hear at an EDM show, but there’s more on the surface. Keep listening and you’ll hear a jazz breakdown that I would love to see in a live crowd and their reaction to change gears so fast. The whole crux of Loopified is to keep you on your toes with both dancing and with intricate time signatures. There are some parts that are slowed down and show your quintessential pop moments – particular in the song “It Hurts”. Some of the lyrics are straight out of Backstreet Boy type playbook. “Your face is like a glimpse of paradise/you got the moon and stars within your eyes”. I remember some guys in high school using these types of lines in love letters in middle school.
Once again, it’s pop music. Dirty Loops manage to both play to what’s popular and keep their integrity musically for a great ride through what is a welcome addition to the pop world. With precision, Loopified lays down a foundation to build on (hopefully with more original songs) for albums to come.