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Zara Larsson shoots for the stars with new album Venus

(Promotional material courtesy of DIY Magazine)
Zara Larsson poses as Venus for her newest album’s cover art, recreating Sandro Botticelli’s masterful yet controversial painting titled “The Birth of Venus.”

Swedish pop star Zara Larsson released her new album, Venus, Feb. 9. The full-length album followed the January release of the album’s lead single, “Can’t Tame Her,” which quickly climbed the top ten charts in Norway and Sweden. Shining with high energy and dance-focused music, Larsson’s fourth album acts as a much-needed rebirth from her previous work, and a celebration of beauty and femininity for fans to enjoy this spring. 

Larsson initially released three tracks off of Venus on January 26th, before the album became available to fans: “Can’t Tame Her,” “End of Time,” and “On my Love.” Larsson’s debut tracks off of Venus are well into their millionth streams and built excitement around the album’s later February release. 

At the heart of the album, Venus stays true to Larsson’s typical dance-pop songs that fans have come to expect. Larsson’s fourth studio album holds optimistic lyrics with deeper, more emotional meanings for fans to belt out at her upcoming Venus Tour. However, there are also some lovelorn ballads filtered in that counteract the album’s light and fun pop vibe. 

Zara Larsson gazes into the camera, summoning her inner goddess to draw viewers to her new album, Venus.

Larsson told GQ magazine in a Feb. 6 interview, three days before the album’s release, that Venus would feature a healthy mix of vulnerable songs and tracks that are “more sassy, and kind of out-there-like my personality.” Throughout the album, which boasts 12 tracks, Larsson blends a celebratory tone with emotionally charged lyrics to create meaning underneath optimistic melodies and pop-forward vocals. Larsson incorporating lighthearted songs with more emotionally charged lyrics makes her pop songs stand out against the rest by making her songs feel fun and inspiring, but also comforting to listeners.

“On my Love” sits as the third track on the album and features EDM genius David Guetta, whom Larsson has previously collaborated with. “On my Love” takes on a house music feel with a slight ‘80s influence and earns the spot of the best electronic-focused song on the album. Larsson gave the joyful song a deeper meaning by dedicating the dance-pop anthem to her sister, Hanna Larsson, who stars alongside her in the song’s music video

“On my Love” has an energetic take on the complications of relationships that it alludes to in its swift-paced lyrics. “I’ll pay the price, I’ll sacrifice, That’s on my love,” Larsson sings in the song’s pre-chorus. While the song remains lighthearted, its lyrics hold deeper meaning about romance’s impacts on the singer’s life and serves up a relatable tale. 

-Looking into the distance, Larsson channels her inner goddess as she pushes ahead with her new album, Venus.

In line with most of Larsson’s new album, “None of These Guys” is the perfect upbeat song to get listeners on their feet and dancing. Larsson puts the melancholy lyrics aside on the album’s fifth track, instead bringing a catchy chorus to life. “None of these guys got nothing on mine, they’re either too short, they’re either too high,” Larsson sings. 

Her rhythmic and empowering lyrics add a touch of femininity and power to create the perfect pump-up song to blast on the dance floor. With her overly relatable tropes pushed through in her songs’ lyrics, Larsson caters towards a female-forward audience who find solace in her well-told tales.

The last song on the album, “The Healing,” pushes the album to a darker place that it should have stayed away from. Instead of closing with a bang, Larsson moves towards more heartbreaking lyrics that should have been left in the drafts. While most of the album has upbeat electronic songs that inspire listeners to dance, “The Healing” brings down the album’s high energy with its melancholy tone and emotional lyrics, left to be saved by the rest of the pop songs that shine throughout Venus.

Larsson’s new album lives up to expectations with a plentiful selection of both pop music and songs that lean more on the electronic house music side. Although Larsson’s more ballad-leaning songs are a letdown, her dance-pop songs prove to be as joyful and hard-hitting as ever, earning Venus three out of five feathers.

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About the Contributor
Hanna Cortright
Hanna Cortright, Cub Arts and Entertainment Editor
Hanna is a sophomore, in her first year of journalism. You can often find Hanna running track and field or watching one of her favorite movies. Her favorite food is pasta and she loves to draw.
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