Little Dragons has me disappointed, because for a band who can do so much, they left me wanting so much more
Little Dragons has been everywhere and done everything but somehow cannot bring any of that experience into their own music. Lead Yukimi Nagano finds stellar collabs on Big Boi´s Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors and Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach, but the Swedish based pop group hasn’t been able to translate that same quality to their own works.
For a band who has been coming to their own via huge features on progressive albums with huge casts, Little Dragons’ latest album Season High feels like just more of the same, and not in a best hits kind of way. Rather than bring in some of their wide catalog of collaborators, Little Dragons finds comfort in controlled, technical mood music that lacks its own identity. Season High feels like an extension of Nabuma Rubberband, but without any growth from the band’s other collaborations.
There’s no doubt that Season High doesn’t have the tried and true Little Dragons polish, but in an over-explored 80’s throw back soundscape, that technical precision isn’t enough to carry the album. Overall it just feels dispassionate, another forced album to complete a contract with no real soul or feeling despite its R&B feel. For all the references to the greats, their seems to be no inspiration or strong influences. Nagano seems almost bored. In a band that thrived on presence, she seems to be more of a mouth piece for bland, flat songs that she has no interest in.
For a band that has been pushing a narrative of going back to their own work, bringing the collars into their own music, it seems that thought was forgotten in the recording room. As much as Little Dragons wants to be their own entity, it seems they just cursed themselves to be that band you heard of on someone else’s album. Their collaborations have been great, but they need to take a moment and find the magic we see they can have, within their own music sphere.
If it was 2010 and this was Little Dragons’ debut album, I would be excited to see what they have to offer, but now I’m wondering if they’ve just run their course.
I give Season High a 4.7/10