Ida Maria, 'Katla' (Mercury)

8
Katla
Critical Mass
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Label: Mercury

by Rob Harvilla

Ida Maria is, improbably, the Pink of Norway: brash, bawdy, booming of voice, uncouth of sentiment, a nightmare of an ?ex-girlfriend, an absolute blast of a pop star.

Katla is way more crass, salacious, and deranged than her 2008 debut, Fortress Around My Heart -- pretty impressive, considering that one had a song called "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked." Too subtle. Rock-candy producer extraordinaire Butch Walker struggles to keep up here: "Bad Karma" is a strutting cock-rock kiss-off of terrifying specificity ("You gypped me out of my money / You messed up my love life and my career"); "10,000 Lovers" is an even struttier fount of fifth-grade horndog wordplay ("The northern winds are blowing / While someone's blowing you"); "Let's Leave" is a breakneck party-crashing jam for Ke$ha fans who don't brush their teeth at all. Then there's the trumpet-laden psycho-mariachi monolith "I Eat Boys Like You for Breakfast," which is just delightful, a spaghetti-Western showstopper if Heathers were a spaghetti Western.

The whole thing blows by in an exhausting, exhilarating half hour, and that's including a sludgy, ten-minute garage-rock dirge called "Devils" that futzes with the momentum but fits in with the album's overall theme of scaring you to death. Let's hope there's a future episode of VH1 Divas where Ida Maria shows up and beats everyone's ass.

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