Pop singer Zara Larsson returned with her sophomore album, simply titled ‘Poster Girl’. After almost giving up hope for a new Zara Larsson project, I can truly say this album was worth the wait and deserves the hype.
Zara Larsson, who had not released a project for two years, dropped five singles before the album that were later featured on the album. This included “Ruin My Life”, which peaked on the lower end of the Billboard Hot 100. All of the singles she dropped were enjoyable and heightened my anticipation for the album. That said, the timing of the releases, especially for “Ruin My Life”, could have been better, as four of the five singles dropped way before the actual album release.
‘Poster Girl’ had minimal features, with the only exception being rapper Young Thug’s appearance on “Talk About Love”. The Young Thug feature worked well with the material, which only added to the crisp production value throughout the project.
The highlights of ‘Poster Girl’ were the songs “What Happens Here”, “Need Someone”, “Stick With You”, “Poster Girl” and “Look What You’ve Done”. The production and instrumentation on “Love Me Land” was also immaculate, making it a great album opener.
In “Love Me Land”, Larsson discussed her struggles with falling in love again after being hurt in the past. She also talks about how she never thought she’d end up here again and how she has been forced into the “love land” mindset. She left no room for error with the album opener, with gorgeous production and vocal layering adding onto an amazing bridge.
The song “Look What You’ve Done” was my favorite cut from the album. The instrumentation within that song was exquisite, with the instruments complimenting Larsson’s voice extremely well. Larsson’s tone also complimented the track production well, with very little clash between them. The best part of the song was right after the pre-chorus and the breakdown, which served as the climax of the song.
The next song, the title track “Poster Girl”, is another one of my highlights because it is truly a POP song. In this day and age, the Pop genre isn’t truly POP anymore. So-called pop singers are singing and performing with more trap beats and instrumentation, with their labels now calling their singles “urban pop”. It is quite rare to find mainstream Pop music that maintains its original instrumentation in this day and age. “Poster Girl” is one of these songs, with its instrumentation, vocals and lyrics making it one of my favorite album cuts on ‘Poster Girl’.
Finally, “What Happens Here” was my last highlight of the album because of its subject matter. In “What Happens Here”, Larsson discusses how privacy is hard to have during the social media age, but that she doesn’t care because she’s going to live her life regardless. As someone who is also living in the social media age, I know it’s very easy to be recorded and get exposed to many things people otherwise would do behind closed doors. In today’s age, people sit on their high horses and judge others in the limelight more harshly for the things they go through as if they haven’t also been there. I loved that she didn’t care if what she did got out, because she didn’t want to live her life in shame. As a result, I ended up relating to “What Happens Here” a lot more than anything else on the album.
The overall instrumentation, vocals, lyrics and creativity of ‘Poster Girl’ make it a standout POP project for this year. I am excited to see what Zara Larsson has in the future and what will become of this album era.