Infinite Shuffle

January 8, 2012

97 – Lykke Li

Filed under: Sweden — assman41 @ 12:01 am

It turns out that Lykke Li is legit.

When the Swedish songstress dropped her debut, Youth Novels, in 2008, I simply wrote her off as a two-hit wonder — “Little Bit” and “I’m Good, I’m Gone”.

When her follow-up, Wounded Rhymes, came out in 2011, I enjoyed the first single, “Get Some”, but assumed that once again the rest of the album wasn’t worth my time.

But after seeing it earn a decent amount of praise on the end-of-the-year lists, I figured I should give it a fair shake.

Not only does it include some catchy dance-pop numbers, but Li shows her range with a few slow, heartfelt tracks that might be her real strength.

She brings out her bread and butter on haltingly, upbeat tunes such as “I Follow Rivers”, “Rich Kids Blues”, “Jerome” and the aforementioned “Get Some”.

On several songs — especially “Youth Knows No Pain”, “Unrequited Love”, “Sadness Is a Blessing” and “Silent My Song” — she channels some of the ’50s/’60s girl-group sound that has regained traction the past couple of years.

But the best song on this album has to be “Love Out of Lust”. It’s a slow ballad that takes awhile to build to a crescendo, but when that chorus hits, it totally seals the song’s greatness.

Even the live version is solid as hell.

After listening to this album a few times, I decided to give the debut another try. I figured I might have a newfound love for it. But, no, I was right the first time — there are only two good songs there.

If Li can continue that kind of steep improvement, her third album is sure to be amazing.



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