Album Review: Erik Hassle’s “Innocence Lost” Finds Its Cool

Usually, when we think of  innocence lost, it seems like a tragedy. It is presumed innocence leaves from the pain that enters. Yet, Erik Hassle’s Innocence Lost is a musical display that innocence lost is not simply about tragedy but a choice: to be good or to bad. The album is laced with a mischief as Hassle seemingly encounters, in sound and characters, an atmosphere that is about looking at life from a lustful lens and leaving consequence for another to handle.

With rhythms that beat like the bright city nights you encounter with friends, Hassle’s debut record is an earful of seduction. The Swedish soul-pop star has been growing in attention because his rhythms, literally, connect with listeners in an instant. Each of Innocence Lost’s songs was produced in excellence, and created to give listeners’ the immediate satisfaction you feel when a goof rhythms begins. There is no arguing that each track will make you dance or cast over you a drape of “oooh’s” and “aaaah’s” that you exclaim from how impressed you are with its sonics. A “popified” blend of house, trap, and electro give the the album a range of drumming synths that come off like the march one makes into a club. It is vibrant enough to inspire the quick energy Hassle aims for in ambiance, but heavy enough to also set in motion the moral dilemmas he lyrically encounters. Innocence Lost seems to be series of encounters between Hassle and the choices you make to give into darker desires.

Innocence Lost  starts out bright with the song “No Words” that feels like a bunch of street lights have been lit as you walk towards the club/night that will change your life. It is a youthful, vibrant track that sets the sonic stage of Innocence Lost as a Millennial mix. This entire records sounds like the present landscape of music with no past influences beyond today. Yet, the lighter, modern sounds are to juxtapose Hassle’s darker, universal lyrics. Songs like “Pathetic,” “Innocence Lost (feat Tinashe)”, and “If Your Man Only Knew” are all about the dangerous covets either Hassle or the “object of his affection” have for each other. Why dangerous? Because when you are in a relationship but dream of another, an emotional danger begins to tidal within you like a tsunami. The tension of lust begins to build in songs like  “Talk About It (feat Vic Mensa)” and “Breaking The Waves” which are all about the ambiguity of love in its labels and its stresses. You can mean the world to someone and vice versa, but also have no clue where you stand with them. Songs like “Silver & Gold” and “All Of You All Over Me” up the sensuality of the album, which courses through every song even in the most tumultuous ones such as, “TKO” and “FTPA”. Both songs have words  like “scars”, “blame” and “pain” as a thematic show that the destruction you feel towards yourself can only be healed or numbed. These are deep notions to contrast the airy feel his beats give you, but Hassle has a voice that etches the intensity of his lyrics.

For Hassle, lust never leaves even when you are trying to decide how you like or whether you love someone like in “Missing You”.  It is a tearing notion Hassle shows through the nuances of his vocals. While Hassle has a great voice, he distinguishes himself by how he uses it show the sword of passion he feels for the world/women around him. He wants his sonics to meet his hurt, which explains why they can have darker undertones. Yet, everyone can dance while in internal pain, which is why he intricately arranges his music to meet the lyrical/ emotional highs and lows he undergoes throughout the record. In a way, Innocence Lost is a soulful tale and look into what happens when you want someone you cannot have or feel like you are someone that is not to be wanted; your innocence is lost, and your unclear thoughts can lead to unclear decisions. To Buy Innocence Lost On January 27 and To Learn More About Erik Hassle Click Here.