Lykke Li delivers another haunting masterpiece
Sophomore slumps are usually the fear of artists anticipating the release of a second album but Lykke Li delivers nothing but pure emotion and masterfully crafted pieces of music. Each track off of the young Swede's newest album, Wounded Rhymes, whisks you off into the world of the young musician. It is apparent that sometime since Li's 2008 debut album, Youth Novels, the artist has undergone internal personal growth due to the misfortunes of unrequited love and a broken heart. These changes in Li's life contribute to the differences between her two albums. While Youth Novels presented a highly acclaimed compilation of girlish, melodic tracks, including discreetly seductive singles like "Little Bit" and "I'm Good, I'm Gone," Wounded Rhymes exposes her newer history in doldrums.
Li's lyrics were confined to typical pop themes of love and desire but impressed and attracted fans with eccentric uses of trumpets, wood block percussion instruments, and organs as well as melancholic piano melodies. They have since transformed into more somber ballads.
Still, her danceable tunes hold steady in Wounded Rhymes, as she begins the record with the track "Youth Knows No Pain," a dark, catchy look into what the rest of the album holds. It stresses and combines strong bass lines, furious tribal drums, soothing saxophone sounds, and dark lyrics about the reality of growing up and her experience of heartbreak.
Li's pain seeps into her lyrics and while her sound becomes deeper, richer, and more relaxed throughout the record, she still manages to hold her ground as a talented musician with a story to tell.
To hear such a lovely voice sounding so vulnerable evokes sadness, but the melancholy in Li's songs illustrate her talent and maturation as an artist in both the independent and commercial business of music. Li is willing to expose her true emotions for the sake of creating memorable, enjoyable, and beautiful music.
Lykke Li's new work will undoubtedly captivate and please her current fans. Her haunting choruses will be stuck in your head after the first listen. However, her newest collection will also allow for the connection between those who prefer more somber sounds in their music or with feminist undertones, along the likes of Tori Amos and Fiona Apple.
Wounded Rhymes was released on March 1st and is available for your ears to enjoy. Get a box of tissues and prepare to be captivated by Li's dynamic and enthralling performance