The Swedish solo project, El Perro Del Mar, translated to “the dog from the sea” in Spanish, was originally started as an MP3/CD-R project by Sarah Assbring in 2003. But in Love is Not Pop, the third album, she proves that this is no longer an experimental endeavor. With songs reminiscent of 60s pop mixed with a euphoric display of guitars, piano and vocals, the album’s melancholy tone and positive lyrics can drown out any sorrow.
“Gotta Get Smart,” the opening song, is a break-up initiated by a girl and a reminder that even good girls fall for the wrong guys. And although the songs seem repetitive, “It is Something” changes the pace of the album with the heart-wrenching expression of a former relationship and lessons learned in love. By the end of the album, Sarah wants to “be a fool” again in “Let Me In,” winding down a very personal and intimate reflection on an artist’s experiences with loss, love and life.
Love is Not Pop is out now on The Control Group.