Featured on the cover of Spin Magazine, Lykke Li is making sincere inroads with her sophomore project. Thursday night she will be the featured musical guest on an episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and her new project dropped all in the same week. Now this could be a testament to great management and promotion, but I believe that the notoriety is well warranted.
The title of the project is, “Wounded Rhymes”. If I had to guess as to why this title was chosen it would be that the lyrical content of this album seems to be impaired by the musical content. The production does not focus on an equal union of the two. Now I do not want impairment to suggest that the composition is somehow poor. What the listener should be prepared to hear are muffled chords and low volume percussion. The music seems to be a burden on Lykke Li’s vocals as she sings OVER the track. The result is a very appealing, smoky, and hazy recording.
The opening track, “Youth Knows No Pain” begins with an anthem about the limitlessness of youth. Like most anthems the title of the song is sung as a mantra to the verifiability of the subject. The high energy the album begins with isn’t lost in the track that follows. I was still quite engaged with the same intensity in which I was introduced. The middle six tracks bring the tempo down a bit but continue the albums focus on chorus driven compositions.
The most poignant lines in the album are, “Sadness is a blessing, sadness is a curse. Sadness is my boyfriend, oh sadness I’m your girl.” These words comprise the chorus of the seventh track on the album-“Sadness is a Blessing”. This song harkens to the rhythms of a 1950’s Sock-Hop song with the added modernity of an electric guitar and incessant reverb.
It’s not until nearly the end of the album that one finds Lykke Li employing the use if vocal harmonies and the use of her full diaphragm. The track third from end is the only track that features another vocalist. It is also the only track where the impediment of the music is absent. She sings with full force through much of the song. The track is entitled “I Know Places”. It ends with an instrumental outtake that appears to loose itself from the haze that is the entirety of the album and take the listener to the place that only Lykke Li knows.
I recommend listening to this album at night during a light warm rain. It will give you the overcast context that I feel Lykke Li Wants to take the listener to. Oh! and if you were wondering she’s Swedish and her name is Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson, hence her stage name Lykke Li.