WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2
OUT: 5 March 2021
TRACKLIST: Love Me Land; Talk About Love feat Young Thug; Need Someone; Right Here; WOW; Poster Girl; I Need Love; Look What You’ve Done; Ruin My Life; Stick With You; FFF; What Happens Here
We last saw Larsson live headlining at London’s Eventim Apollo in October 2017 and it is with a little surprise then that it has taken more than three-and-half years since to release this next album proper.
- Read on for reasons including to see live performances of 2 of the album’s best tracks
We said then: ‘It’s her flowering writing talent coupled with a super warm personality which means her popularity can only grow as the hits she pens keep coming’ although only Ruin My Life from this 2nd UK album went top 10 for her.
Again Poster Girl feels a little over-thought and we can’t help but despair a little over Zara’s quotes about the title track on Apple’s iTunes: ‘I actually wrote it about weed. We were in LA and Justin (Tranter) said: ‘You smoke so much, so write a song about that.’ That’s where the lyrics: ‘Holy smokes, I’m not the Poster Girl for feelings but with you I can’t stop’ come from.’
The best track is the latest single Look What You’ve Done which reminds of the upbeat pop that she had most commercial success with when her collaboration with Clean Bandit, Symphony, topped the singles chart in the UK, Norway and her native Sweden in 2017. The lyrics scream post-breakdown female empowerment: ”Cause now that you’re gone, I’m number one, Boy I should thank you for who I’ve become.’
Pop success has been less easy to find since then and Poster Girl explores both the pain of break-up as well as the rush of falling in love and, while opener Love Me Land is more downbeat than expected, there are glimpses here to remind of the successes in her past not least the R’n’B horns in the killer WOW.
Lyrically Right Here strikes a chord with Larsson explaining to a beau pre-occupied with their phone that: ‘I’m Right Here, why can’t you look at me? You keep your eyes on the screen like you don’t care.’
Back to that Apple interview and Larsson hints while discussing Ruin My Life that all was not well in the run-up to this album’s release: ‘I released this as a single (in 2018) thinking the album would be coming soon, so it still feels like part of the album. Sometimes people act like I deleted those songs but they’re still out there.’
The Poster Girl album may have had a difficult birth but Zara’s performed its 2 most commercial tracks on TV as part of the album’s launch and it’s a reminder of just how good she is as a live performer.
We hope to see her out on tour and wowing her audience as she did at both London’s Eventim Apollo and Heaven with MNEK – and soon.