The Swedes show glittering ambition on their fourth album

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Little Dragon - 'Nabuma Rubberband'

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Little Dragon – ‘Nabuma Rubberband’

With their third album, 2011’s ‘Ritual Union’, Little Dragon came close to cracking the UK Top 20. ‘Nabuma Rubberband’ continues the ice-cool Swedes’ quest for mainstream acceptance. The opening ‘Mirror’, co-written with Dave from De La Soul, sounds like something off Prince’s ‘Paisley Park’. ‘Pink Cloud’’s sultry ballad swells to a string-laden crescendo. And ‘Klapp Klapp’ hits harder than before, the bassy synth refrain closer to EDM than the band’s usual jazzy stylings. But ‘Nabuma Rubberband’ isn’t quite the home run it should have been, chiefly because the songwriting can’t always keep pace with the band’s vaulting ambition. Still, when they get it right — ‘Let Go’ is precisely the sort of arthouse R&B blockbuster they could’ve done with more of — they flirt with perfection.

Alex Denney

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Record label:Because Music