Success sort of crept up on singer Coco Maja Hastrup Karshøj and musician/producer Robin Hannibal, collectively known as Quadron. The Danish duo (the band name is a celebration of their respective one-quarter Black heritage) surprised listeners with 2009's "electronic soul" self-titled effort, a groovy project that still holds up. Avalanche veers more towards mainstream pop territories; it's a calculated push towards wider recognition. First single "Hey Love" is indicative of this; the Fraser T Smith-produced number (of Adele and Florence and the Machine fame) comes off as a definite "soul pop anthem of the summer" candidate. The rest of the ten-track project is left in Hannibal's more than capable hands and groove sensibilities (if there are flaws in Hannibal's production, you'd be hard-pressed to find them), and when coupled with Coco's uniquely soulful voice (and obvious admiration for '90s era urban artists like Lauryn Hill), the new album is a delight to get through. The liner notes show the overall production is a 50/50 split between the two; the record possesses a breezy collaborative energy that reveals itself on tracks like the strings-driven "LTF," the soul syncopation of "Favorite Star," the smoky, Adele-esque "Crush" and the sensual "Sea Salt." If the self-titled debut was the unobtrusive introduction, Avalanche represents the showy breakthrough the duo have been angling for. (Sony)
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