The official video for ‘You And I’ begins and ends with pyjamas. They fill the screen. The promo, shot and cut with the elan of the young Scorsese/Schoonmaker partnership, arrests the eye. The rooms through which she walks are beautifully lit. And so is she. This is a big production. She looks good in pyjamas. The sheer drape of the fabric somehow mesmerises. Then comes the pout, held in place by an architrave of frown. She smoulders and struts, she writhes and shudders. She sings.
She is LÉON, a.k.a Lotta Lindgren. She’s a woman, a single worded name, and with this Swede’s 10-track eponymously titled debut album there’s delivered unto the public the new sound. It’s the sound of up-to-the-minute pop. It’s pan-European in nature, wholly contemporary and destined to criss-cross the European continent and become immediately acceptable to its citizenry. Accept that as a given.
With this polished, clean-edged album, the Gordian knot that is ‘How To Crack It’ has been loosened and untied. Expect to hear the record being piped in cafés and clubs, in emporia and arcades, through earphones and the speakers of flatscreens. Present throughout is that curious aural dynamic, the ubiquitous four-minute warning siren sound that suffuses the production with what might best be described as dystopian soul. It’s what people want: the sound that envelops and comforts, the sound that promotes a sense of oneness with the globalised audience. And with the crowd won over, the subsequent realisation is that LÉON has what it takes, stepping into the vacuum created by the reticence of Adele and the absence of Winehouse. Yes, there are vocal shades of Amy and Adkins here but something else is also apparent. Perhaps it’s the boldness of the promo imagery, but more likely it’s the conclusion reached on hearing this album that it represents the shape of things to come.
LÉON is released in the UK on 5 April