Tove Lo is known for her shockingly candid lyrics. “Habits (Stay High)”, her first song to hit the charts in 2014, is about getting high, drinking alcohol and having sex. And since then, her music has continued to openly focus on these themes.
Blue Lips, the sequel to Lady Wood (2016), is broken into two chapters - Light Beams and Pitch Black. Light Beams kicks off with “disco tits,” the lead single. The song, an upbeat dance track, sets the tone for the album with the chorus: “I'm sweatin' from head to toe / I'm wet through all my clothes / I'm fully charged, nipples are hard.” The next four tracks capture the essence of Tove Lo; they’re mesmerizingly candid pop songs about love. Light Beams ends with “bitches.” On this uncensored track about oral sex, the Swedish singer does not hold back. The song features lyrics such as “Let me be your guide when you eat my pussy out / 'Cause I've had one or two, even a few.”
Pitch Black adds six more bangers to the album, albeit with a much sadder tone. "Bad days" tells the story of a bad heartbreak. Tove Lo's voice is hauntingly sad over a solid track as she sings about trying to get over someone who was once so important to her. The last track on the album “hey you got drugs?” juxtaposes the first song “disco tits.” Lines such as “Ten years of highs just for fun / Not a height 'til I'm caught / Pain from the past like a small piece of glass in my heart” and a track that screams ‘heartbreak’ shows that, for Tove Lo, taking drugs is not just about having fun. It’s about masking the pain of something else. It’s about finding a temporary escape.
Blue Lips brings listeners along for a journey. It puts listeners in the life of Tove Lo through a highly personal album. While Tove Lo is confident in her music, she reveals a lot about how she feels and how she deals with problems. There is a level of vulnerability that leaves the listeners feeling like they are experiencing the highs and lows of a party lifestyle right along with her.
In the middle of the #MeToo movement and a series of sexual assault accusations, a female empowerment album such as Blue Lips is so important. Men have been writing tracks about having sex and partying for years. It’s time for women such as Tove Lo to make albums about female sexuality and attraction.
Tove Lo is looking to change the way female sexuality is viewed in music one record at a time. In an interview with Out Magazine, she said, “We just need to stop judging anyone who is an openly sexual and happy person. That should never be a weapon for someone to use against someone else.”
She also believes that the stigma around sexual assault and victim blaming needs to change. In the same interview, Tove Lo stated, “That should never be the case that we should have to change just so dudes won’t feel us up. It makes no sense to me. I’ve always felt it shouldn’t be up to them—it’s up to me and that comes down to everything I do.”
Tove Lo is confident in her ability to freely express her sexuality and she believes that everyone should have that same freedom. Women should not feel like they have to hide their sexuality just because they are a woman. Blue Lips invites listeners to really consider the way media and the world looks at sex and drugs. It asks listeners to challenge the taboos placed on women’s ability to exercise their freedom of expression.