iTunes Single of the Week: Little Dragon, “Klapp Klapp”

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I’ve known this day would come.  iTunes has been on a months-long winning streak with their selections for Single of the Week, culminating in last week’s nearly perfect Morning Parade song, so I was wondering how they’d top it.  Apparently when you reach a pinnacle, you have to take the slide back down.

Little Dragon is a Swedish band hailing from Gothenburg.  They have been performing together since 1996, and consist of singer Yukimi Nagano, drummer Erik Bodin, bassist Fredrik Källgren Wallin, and keyboardist Håkan Wirenstrand.  Their name comes from the supposedly epic tantrums Nagano used to throw during recording sessions.  The single “Klapp Klapp” is an acquired taste.  I have not acquired it.  I cannot apologize for that.  It is too many things at once which do not gel into a cohesive unit– thumping drumbeats that counterattack the syncopated synthesizer lines and bass hook instead of flowing with them naturally, Nagano’s sweet, thin voice sounding a bit out of place in the cacophony.  It’s kind of like smacking face first into a brick wall of sonic confusion.  Then, over two-thirds of the way through, the song changes its whole course and an entirely different instrumental melody takes over–  pleasant electronica that would sound right at home burbling out of a pinball machine.  That bit, which is a distinctive earworm and the best part of the cut, feels like too little, too late and it’s not enough to warrant the track a repeat listen unless you skip straight to the coda.  I’ve yet to determine which part of the song is more indicative of Little Dragon’s overall modus operandi, so I can’t pass judgment on their whole creative outlet, but “Klapp Klapp” is an awkward piece.  A breakthrough single needs to start strong right out of the gate, and this one instead cartwheels drunkenly for too long before picking up the steam to make it to a decent finish.  The SeriouslyFluffy Final Grade:  D  (The coda alone: B-)

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