Pure-O, by Kari Jahnsen - aka Farao - is a prog-pop exposition on the curious dichotomy between beauty and destructiveness in sex and relationships. Farao creates the world of Pure-O with a neon pool of synthesizers, zither, drums, and soaring vocals, seamlessly referencing '90s R&B and the untapped goldmine of Soviet disco.
On Pure-O, we're hearing Jahnsen's early youth in Norway finding perfect equilibrium with her adulthood in Berlin. She says of the time she spent recording, "I was in the process of learning how to conduct myself while not getting sucked in to the whirlpool that is Berlin party culture," and of her childhood, "It wasn't a place I felt stimulated creatively, and felt quite lonely there growing up, which made me turn to music as a language for a set of emotions I didn't know how to release otherwise." It's precisely this relationship between quiet reflection and overstimulation that makes this album unlike anything of its genre. In an age when non-electronic pop seems like an outlier, Farao constructs a bridge of humanity from the organic to the inorganic, rounds out the hard edges and sharpens the soft ones, and altogether transplants a healthy, beating heart into modern synth-pop.