That we live in a world changed is beyond question. Since 2015’s Zenith, Berlin-based songwriter Molly Nilsson has surrendered to the world, traveling from Mexico to Glasgow, observing the changing socio-political landscape and imagining something better. For an artist who has so successfully created her own environment and gradually let in others, her eighth studio album Imaginations directly engages with her surroundings, engendering change and allowing love in. This album dreams big, recasting storming, stadium-sized pop into the internal language of the solo auteur. It’s not escapism, it’s a kaleidoscope and an alternative view, an agent of change.
Nilsson’s vision is perhaps more forceful than the emotionally fragile moments of her previous album, exemplified on “Memory Foam,” a bright, driving pop song that belies themes of nostalgia and the past, reminding us that Nilsson alone can make one feel so welcome in loneliness. If there’s overt anger in songs like “Money Never Sleeps,” an anthem for a post-capitalist utopia, seams of optimism are also sewn into the album’s genetic code.
Any revolutionary will tell you that anger alone achieves nothing— Nilsson’s mission is to offer some alternatives we can hold close. For example, “Not Today Satan” is a song about accepting love as the agent of change: “Don’t be sad, but do get mad at all the small men who act so tall, in the end they always fall; there ain’t no sin in giving into love, that’s just how we’re winning the fight.” Love can be visceral, a weapon with which to fight the power.
Recasting her interior monologue as a prism through which to see the world, Nilsson imagines a means to live differently and to reject the status quo. This is an optimism about the future when one needs it the most. “New boys, new girls… give me your smile and I’ll give you mine.” Clearly, the world is living through a transformation but with alchemists like Molly Nilsson, no one is alone in the process.
|A2||Let's Talk About Privileges|
|A6||Money Never Dreams|
|B1||Not Today Satan|
|B5||Theory Of Life|