El Perro del Mar Love Is Not Pop

El Perro del Mar Love Is Not Pop
Despite last year's From the Valley to the Stars coming across as a letdown, El Perro Del Mar has righted all wrongs with mini-album follow-up Love Is Not Pop. Like her self-titled 2006 breakthrough LP, the Swede pop chanteuse (born Sarah Assbring) is back to doing what she does best: making ridiculously heartbroken pop songs, pure and simple. And while this means we're saved from another helping of Valley's quasi-religious, high-concept folk misery, we're not exactly getting a throwback to EPDM's early Spector pop. Instead, Love Is Not Pop packs in some ultra-late night, post-relationship comedown vibes, chock full of hazy instrumentation, warm synth tones and some dub-y, nu-Balearic beats, thanks largely to new collaborator/producer Rasmus Hägg, of Sweden's Studio. And even with Assbring's tender pipes in top form, it's Hägg's easy, breezy sonic touches that steal the show on standouts like "Change of Heart" and "I Gotta Get Smart," helping El Perro Del Mar get back on the right track with one of her strongest releases yet. (The Control Group)