Little Dragon – Ritual Union review

The voice… It came to me in a dream.
I didn’t quite know from where it came.
And then I listened to Ritual Union, the third album from Swedish group, Little Dragon.
Lead vocalist Yukimi Nagano’s voice has a magical sweet-toned rasp to it. It reminded me of Lykke Li a little bit at first (no song title pun intended there), but her sound carries more soul, dream-like-fantasy-over-interesting-electroninc-beat-soul.

Ritual album can be split, in my opinion. The group could release an album of those same beats and a separate album of just Nagano’s voice–the success factor would still be there.

I’m a huge fan of the uptempo rhythms  of the background. They complement the vocals without being distracting or overpowering. So basically, the sound effects are out of this world, without running the space (get it?).

Even when you turn up the volume, she still sounds soft and sweet.
For some reason I sit, listen and try to envision how Little Dragon does it. I can’t figure it out, but I certainly don’t mind the attempt.

I wanted to think of Shanghai Restoration Project when I listened to “Ritual Union,” but hearing the rest of the CD made that thought irrelevant.
The creativeness of the lyrics paired with the electronic heartbeat and fast-paced tempo and effects (“When I Go Out” is the track I’m most referring to in terms of effects, this time) make  Ritual Union an exquisite find.

Sometimes intent and meaning can get buried in the background, but Little Dragon shines with its alluring blend of different music genres and the lullaby like appeal of Nagano’s singing (“Seconds” is the lullaby track).

With the songs you get a story and some excellent beat artistry. What more could you ask for? Big dragon?

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