Uranium Heart


(Digital Download - Propeller Records #PRR371)

Review by Timothy Monger

Since forming in 2011, the Norwegian duo Highasakite have delivered two chart-topping albums of melodic and often adventurous synth-led pop. Following their massive 2014 debut, Silent Treatment, 2016's ambitious Camp Echo took a heavier approach, using themes of war and climate change to fuel its soaring pop hooks. Their third outing, Uranium Heart, plays as an altogether more subdued affair, largely made up of downtempo cuts whose reflective content lies closer to the heart. More or less a breakup album, Uranium Heart charts the path of a broken heart from loss and longing to healing with singer Ingrid Håvik attacking the nuanced balladry with the same finesse she's typically brought to the band's electro-pop bangers. The sweet melancholia of opener "Too Early" carries through to similarly toned tracks like "Mexico" and "Out of Order," each one managing to lay down a supremely hooky chorus in spite of its relaxed tempo. Most of the songs here are somewhat lengthy and after a while their density and laid-back tone make the album seem ever longer. Late in the album, sitting among all of the finely detailed electronic ballads, the acoustic guitar and banjo-led title track feels ultimately fresher than it probably should thanks simply to its folky nature. Although Highasakite prove they can write a quality pop hook in any guise, Uranium Heart ultimately suffers from its lack of variety.

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