On their fifth outing aptly entitled Compassion, the dynamic, dour Danish trio Lust For Youth, have fully embraced the light. If you’ve never caught wind of Hannes Norrvides vocals (always sorrowfully yowling into the abyss) then you know LFY has the ability to immerse you in a deluge of melancholia. However, lately, as in with LFY’s last release International, and now their latest, it is clear that the group has moved from their early Cold War industrial sound to something bright yet still chilly.
Compassion shines like an ice glazed city in Eastern Europe, finally seeing sun and blue sky for the first time in weeks. If you’ve followed Lust since the beginning, it’s even more gratifying because the transformation from grimy abandoned warehouse tunes to grandiose, anthemic-like melodies is organic. Harnessed with this new antiseptic glee, much of the album perfectly dances the line between glum and joyful.
Starting with “Stardom” and “Limerance” as the first two tracks, the synth lines and swooning vocals ( still beautifully glum) seem to suggest surprising joy as if some new undiscovered hope for love has been unearthed underneath melting snow. These two first tracks (which can be seen as companion pieces) refer back to the whispers of brightness and jubilation that were hinted at on International.
And the gloomy optimism continues through “Sudden Ambitions” onto the lengthy centerpiece of the album “Better Looking Brother”. At almost eight minutes, the guitars shiver and the beat bounces you to the dancefloor.
Knowing and loving New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, The Cure, and 90s dance, will aid you to fully comprehend and embrace LFY’s potentially stand-offish vibe. While it’s definitely not for everyone, Compassion is a grower not a show-er. But once you’ve seen what they’re working with, you’ll never want to stop listening to these princes of synthpop. Compassion is an impressive effort.
Written by Alexander Rose (@omgalex), Critical asshole living in Los Angeles