Music Review: Cardiknox - 'Portrait'

Mainstream pop music is not exactly desperate for female anthems that fit perfectly in the background of commercials for Special K cereal and Dove soap. There are plenty of big hitters in that space, creating a savagely competitive market.

Consider Cardiknox a player.

While their sound is familiar (pretend one of the members of Icona Pop went missing and everyone agreed to cover it up with fancy editing tricks), Cardiknox pinpoints the three song categories in which they excel and sticks to them. The result is a focused, consistent album worth listening to, if only so you can gaze at the beautiful cover art on Spotify.

The prevailing category, of course, is Girl Power. These are songs for preteens unsure about pursuing a degree in one of the STEM fields, new mothers training for their first marathon, or anyone facing life's many obstacles but hey you got this goddammit. Who can stop you? WHO CAN STOP YOU?

  • "Earthquake"
  • "Doors"
  • "On My Way"
    • Featured on #RSPOBOTW, this song is bursting with the potential of a mainstream radio smash. 
  • "Shadowboxing"

Our next group of songs, Moving On, is more vulnerable. The breaks aren't always clean, the memories often romanticized. Maybe you'll get back together? It's fine, he didn't deserve you anyway. Plus he left all this shit at your place. Typical. But still...

  • "Souvenirs"
  • "Into The Night"
  • "Supermodel"
  • "What Do I Do Now"
    • A slowed-down, 80s-tinged reflection song. Like every Bachelor contestant ever, the breakup totally blindisded our protaganist.
  • "Your Love"
  • Perfect Storm

Lastly, we have the incongruous catch-all category, Partying. Essential elements to any pop album in 2016, these songs are prime contenders for the coveted montage scene in Bridesmaids 2 when the crew is getting ready to paint the town red one last time.

  • "Wild Child"
  • "Bloodlust"
  • "Supermodel"
    • The only track marked "explicit," it's probably best if you press "next" if your daughter's in the back seat. Kinda comes out of nowhere.

Cardiknox is currently opening for legendary songstress and future Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Carly Rae Jepsen. Maybe you've heard of her. |ES|