Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband

LITTLE DRAGONNabuma Rubberband

 01. Mirror
02. Klapp Klapp
03. Pretty Girls
04. Underbart
05. Cat Rider
06. Paris
07. Lurad
08. Nabuma Rubberbands
09. Only One
10. Killing Me
11. Pink Cloud
12. Let Go

‘Now we know that being us actually works, at first we were not really sure, we didn’t feel defined,’ LITTLE DRAGON told NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION recently in an interview. The way to their actual success was long indeed. The Gothenburg quartet exists since 1996, but established themselves internationally only in 2007 with their debut album. The wait was worth it – meanwhile LITTLE DRAGON are welcome guests at big festivals and have collaborated with music greats like GORILLAZ and OUTKAST‘s Big Boi.

Now front woman Yukimi Nagano and her friends Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrik Källgren Wallin (bass) and Håkan Wirenstrand (keyboards) present the follow-up to 2011’s Ritual Union. The new work bears the name Nabuma Rubberband and is out now.

As LITTLE DRAGON told us, Nabuma is a Ugandan girl’s name and Rubberband is the last name of this fictional person that has become kind of a muse for the band.

Compared to its predecessors Machine Dreams and Ritual Union, the album is less club-compatible. So the best way to experience the experimental pop creations is during a relaxed listening session with headphones.

Only the singles Paris and Klapp Klapp evoke images of sweaty people twitching on the dance floor. The dry synthie-sound of Paris is a nice eighties quotation and the driving Klapp Klapp will definitely satisfy all the fans who love LITTLE DRAGON because of their uptempo numbers.

It’s easy to get a handle on these catchy pieces, while the rest of the songs are more stubborn. But if the listener takes up with them, he will discover some nice moments. The opener Mirror for instance is a dark and theatrical track with a blurred knock like in some old shipwreck.

The smooth Cat Rider shows that LITTLE DRAGON took some cues from PRINCE‘s and JANET JACKSON’s slow jams and Only One starts unexcited but then increases speed and cries out for a remix.

All of the songs are quiet nice but sometimes there’s nothing more to add and some seem a little weary. LITTLE DRAGON still know how to combine Nagano’s special voice with elaborate synthpop and sonic gadgets but can’t prevent their new record from remaining dreary here and there.

‘Nabuma Rubberband’ proves that LITTLE DRAGON are going their own way and are able to add new dimensions to their own definition. Unfortunately some songs turn out a little monotonous and disappear behind the strong singles ‘Paris’ and ‘Klapp Klapp’.

NBHAP Rating: 3/5