Monday, February 28, 2011

Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes (2011)

Lykke Li has an outstanding capacity of expression in her music, something of value taking notice that she’s only 24 years old, for a young woman she has an exceptional profound lyrical understanding of love, heartache, deception and all those human emotions that make songs so great, but unlike other pop artists she doesn’t put the simple words to express emotions, she captures the complexity of relationships and doesn’t go straight to say I love you when she loves, but somehow you feel the love.

For “Wounded Rhymes” Lykke Li pushed the production to a bigger scale with Björn Yttling of Peter, Björn and John in charge, therefore, the sound quality is more expensive just in the first listen, and on her account the song writing is much more mature. The album has the trademark voice of Lykke Li already known for a lot of people, but brakes up the sound adding this time much more eloquent sounds, the percussion pound a little bit harder, thing that can already be seen in the two singles that are out “Get Some” and “I Follow River”, and the formula repeats itself in some other tracks but the ones that attracted my attention were the ballads that can be beautifully depressive, melancholic, vulnerable, complex and show the real evolution of the artist.

Simple songs with old soul like “Unrequited Love” remind heartache ballads compared to the quality of El Perro Del Mar, Camera Obscura or St. Vincent, and if in the past she was singing about being just “a little bit in love”, this time around she jumped in with both feet and felt incredibly hard just to fail in the end, elevating the lyrics to phrases like “sorrow, the only lover I ever known” in “Sadness Is a Blessing”, definitely one of the best songs of the entire LP.

What charms me the most about Lykke Li is her old soul mixed with her youth appeal, and for sure she’ll keep the hype of the upbeat songs to get the album running, but once is established in the public I would love to see a video of one of the sad songs, maybe “I Know Places”, and make everyone cry and be incredibly touched by image like she did with the minimal video of “Tonight”.

She kind of reminds me of Fiona Apple, the way that she’s able to make heartache sound beautiful when said harshly, of course, Lykke Li is way too depressed and tired to fight her emotions, so she’s less of a fighter and more the existential kind, who knows well that the good days might be good, and the bad days hit hard, but lets the river flow until the rapids end hoping to survive in the end, specially if she´s not really sure. The power of love most definitely is one of the great mysteries that cause angst to people around the world, and what Lykke Li does is not distract this feeling with a silly little love song that will take you appart from the reality, but also doesn’t leave you inside with no way out; she walks through with you not giving hope but as a loyal companion.


1. Youth Knows No Pain
2. I Follow Rivers
3. Love Out of Lust
4. Unrequited Love
5. Get Some
6. Rich Kid Blues
7. Sadness Is a Blessing
8. I Know Places
9. Jerome
1o. Silent My Song

Rate: 8.3/10

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