El Perro del Mar, 'Love Is Not Pop' (The Control Group)

Critical Mass
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by Spencer Kornhaber

It's common to make music that's about a breakup, but Sarah Assbring's third album is a breakup. "I've got something to tell you..." she starts ominously on "Gotta Get Smart," then waffles on "Change of Heart," and finally ends it all with the it's-not-you-it's-me ballad "A Better Love." For her first collaborative effort, Assbring works with fellow Swede Rasmus Hägg of Studio, and he helps recast her monastic pop shtick -- all mantras and choir-girl lilt -- as a moving electro-lounge symphony. It's minimal house for broken homes.

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