Compassion is Lust For Youth's fourth album for Sacred Bones, but only their second as a trio. The earlier work of Hannes Norrvide as a solo artist under the moniker is oblique, scruffy and texturally unique. The influences of '80s synth bands was always apparent, but with the addition of Loke Rahbek and Malthe Fisher to the lineup, they have added layers and complexities to LFY's sound, bringing a clarity that moved the band much closer to their idols. International was uncharacteristically bright and colourful for Lust For Youth, which may have meant they lost a little of their identity. On Compassion they have managed to find the exciting balance between their anthemic new wave ambitions and the darkness that still lurks in Norrvide's mind.

One of Compassion's main strengths is that Norrvide seems to have taken on a little of a persona; someone aching for connection but living for the nights spent out partying endlessly, looking for the next bump. The ego is running the show, and that is clear from the off with opening track 'Stardom'. The luminous, ascendant synths that open the album immediately give us the impression of a gloriously heightened state of being. This is furthered by Norrvide telling us about his blessed movement amongst beautiful faces, as "all the light flows free from you into me," and stating "I'm complete, I'm content." The song stays at a perfectly measured level, the natural glow of the instruments washing over the euphoric mind. This vanity is maintained in 'Better Looking Brother', the album's 8-minute centrepiece and highlight. Adopting full-on New Order mode the threesome sets out their stall early on with thumping percussion, plucked guitars, propulsive bass and devilish waves of synths that are shiny enough for Norrvide to check his own reflection as many times as he wants. The chorus is so intoxicating that you find yourself easily buying into its egotism as if you've just snorted a huge line: "you are born better / don't strive to be another / you are the better-looking brother... you have a part to play tonight in whatever is to come."

As with any cycle of drugs and hubris, there is the less healthy side and the comedown. 'Limerence' finds our protagonist admiring from afar a girl who "moves like a sunset," and then pushes his desperation into uncomfortable territory follows her to her bus stop just to continue ogling her. 'Sudden Ambitions' falls in the middle and brings the pace down, making a change to the album's exertions elsewhere. Hearing this man that was once "complete" and "content" come to the sobering realisation that he's clinging to dreams long dead is an effective change of pace. 'Display' is the album's true slow-burner and covers very similar territory to 'Sudden Ambitions', though it's not quite as compelling. With the band relatively resigned, the burden falls more on the vocal than usual, but Norrvide comes across a little too overbearing in the verses. The song is saved by the excellent female vocal that overtakes for the choruses, taunting "here is the sum of lies / we can agree upon."

Compassion is Lust For Youth's most compact album, with only 8 tracks, and benefits from its trim nature. When there is a slower song, there is always a heady jam like 'Better Looking Brother' and 'Tokyo' to pick the listener back up again. Even the album's two instrumental tracks add more atmosphere to the album than LFY are known for. Now working as a trio, with more depth and input, the band has some exciting years ahead.