By Mackenzie Viera |Staff Writer|
Swedish artist Sarah Assbring, better known as El Perro Del Mar (meaning The Dog of the Sea in Spanish), has taken us into a time machine to the 90s with the release of her fourth album, Pale Fire.
After her major self-titled album was released in 2006, Assbring has lathered fans with her folk-like wit. After a three year wait since Love is Not Pop, Assbring has introduced listeners to her indie dance side in what she construes as bringing the “clarity in the darkness, future to the ruins and power to the fight.”
The opening and title track “Pale Fire” brings out the audience’s imagination. In a sense, it defines the concept of the title and steers listeners into a dreamy state where she describes a world where, according to Assbring, “you think you have no reason to believe in love or in anything much. Then one day, when you least expect it, a light appears in the far horizon…”
Floating in after the opening song, “Hold Off the Dawn” begins with mysterious stems creating hesitation on whether or not you like the song. However, the mystery and hesitation is then broken by an addition of fast-tempoed witty stems.
“Walk On By” refers to overcoming the state one finds themselves in when trust has been violated by another. Assbring associates “solitude” as being her best friend while trying to convince herself to “keep her head up” and walk on by.
While trying to analyze, dissect and figure out why fourth track, “I Carry the Fire,” is so alluring, one realizes it is the song’s simplicity that makes it complex.
It starts off with a dazzling synthesized beat followed by echoed hypnotizing chants leading into Assbring’s vocals giving a feeling of coming alive or resurrecting in an altered universe.
This song can be considered a universal genre, giving listeners mixed feelings on whether or not to call it dance, funk, pop or indie.
Pale Fire‘s first hit single, “Walk On By,” was released earlier this year in August, creating anxiety for Assbring’s long-awaited comeback.
As a favorite, this track seduces with its eccentric yet soulful beat that makes it almost irresistible.
Assbring describes her single as, “an homage to the songs I loved in the early 90s.” From the beginning to the end, it’s safe to say this song is comparable to a funky and modern version of The Sweetest Taboo by Sade.
Above all, while its undeniable that listeners can appreciate a few tracks on Pale Fire, Assbring should have spent more time creating songs that tie the album together.
The tracks that were intended to be dance and funk were all executed fairly well, however, many tracks felt out of context.
Though the other tracks were inconsistent to the album, it should have been put into another album or perhaps another EP collection.