Say Lou Lou

Lucid Dreaming

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Lucid Dreaming Review

by Heather Phares

During the three years between the release of Say Lou Lou's first singles and the arrival of 2015's Lucid Dreaming, Elektra and Miranda Kilbey developed their music so much that only a handful of their early songs appeared on their debut album. Chief among them is "Julian," which, with its tale of lovers on the run and windswept synths, remains the template for the sisters' dreamy storytelling and mood-setting. Elsewhere on Lucid Dreaming, they give that alluring haze different forms, and some of the biggest departures make for the brightest highlights. "Games for Girls," a collaboration with Lindstrøm, is a sparkly disco-house confection that reflects his inimitable stylishness as well as the Kilbeys' witty lyrics, which give it an extra zest. Likewise, in a perfect world, "Nothing But a Heartbeat"'s irresistibly airy pop would be a Top Ten hit, but at the very least it shows that Say Lou Lou can transform their sound into something radio-friendly without sacrificing anything. Indeed, the Kilbeys' songwriting skills shine throughout Lucid Dreaming: motifs like gold and frosty kisses are sprinkled carefully yet seamlessly on songs such as "Everything We Touch," "Glitter," and "Wilder Than the Wind," enhancing the album's lavish yet heartbroken vibe. Elsewhere, they sing "I'll be as gentle as I can/Love is hard/For a man like you" so breezily on "Hard for a Man" that the sting of that putdown doesn't register for a few seconds, and convey a world of feelings in details like "the sunset on your face" on the smoky, trip-hop-tinged "Peppermint." At times, Lucid Dreaming can get a little too hazy and downbeat for its own good, but as a portrait of a duo in motion, it suggests Say Lou Lou are heading in the right direction.

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