Published Apr 20, 2016Niki and the Dove's 2012 debut album, Instinct, solidified their reputation for euphoric, pounding pop intensity that was best exemplified by song like "The Drummer" and "DJ Ease My Mind," on which they pushed their mesmerizing synths to the edge.
Where their debut featured songs about letting go, feeling the rhythm and longing for someone special, their latest effort, Everybody's Heart Is Broken Now, find the band taking a totally different route. Instead, we get the aftermath of the painful reality of picking yourself up and recovering after a particularly emotional rollercoaster.
This time around, Niki and the Dove bring forth more emotional ballads. The first and arguable the strongest song, "So Much It Hurts" sets the tone for the rest of the record, as Malin Dahlström sings, "Always be there for me / Like I'll always be there for you / Good times and bad times I'll always be there for you / Bring it back," as the smooth and urgent track plays up themes of yearning and nostalgia.
Niki and the Dove's groovy rhythms and funky bass lines remain intact, though, as on "You Want The Sun," where the juxtaposition underlines the sadness. On closing track "Ode to the Dance Floor," the duo dance around the excitement we heard in 2012, and they get fully moody on "Lost UB," as Dahlström asks "Won't you come back home again? / Well let's say this is for life / And they say love never dies."
Everybody's Heart Is Broken Now is a satisfying, long-awaited return for Niki and the Dove. They went against what followers might have expected, but make it clear that they've gone through great lengths to mature their sound wring as much beauty as possible out of pain. (Universal)