A greater range of Sarah Assbring’s squeaky-clean vocals and an inventive twist on pop theory pushes El Perro Del Mar’s second release leagues beyond the cheery, stylized pop of her self-titled debut.
“Inner Island” is serene, bringing the thoughtfully articulated “Don’t cast away/ Your inner island” in line with a simply crafted and lush soundscape. “Somebody’s Baby” is a well-rounded, party-perfect jingle, the high point in a collection of melodies that, for the first time, truly communicate the many moods of Assbring.
Stronger, more contemplative feelings are at work here; gone are the sugary la-la-la’s and superficial lyrics inserted on cue. A subtle dispatch of Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the capable accompaniment of some of Sweden’s up-and-coming performers have launched El Perro Del Mar further toward a place of her own.