The Last Drop

Reviews and Clues on Music That Matters (to me)

New Issue: Lykke Li, Wounded Rhymes

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Lykke Li, Wounded Rhymes – The second real album review of 2011. And what a pick. I guess I can say  that I am holding off until I hear something that is worth listening to. And, I confess, this album has been on repeat. I will dispense with the inevitable up front: long live Swedish pop! Good. It’s out of the way. Outside of the obvious genetics that pave the way to at least a decent recording, Lykke Li takes a rather unexpected turn towards the heavy. Which, if you judge her assets by her debut Youth Novels, would be a stretch at best of her talents and strengths.  Guess she was hiding this crap in the backroom the whole time. I’m glad she decided to let it out to the world, ’cause it’s a pretty rad follow up and is bound to have staying power.

The most striking feature of Wounded Rhymes is that it sounds complete from the first listen. It’s well produced, rich, and inviting. But has enough complexity and looseness to not lose it’s freshness on repeat. The album easily hearkens to the ’60s/’70s without taking on the task of becoming an homage. Fuzz, organs, harmonies, and reverb are all in ample proportion throughout. Lykke Li’s usually wistful delivery lands on the  meatier end of the spectrum, full of experience, pallor, and bite.  It’s a dangerous turn to take – leaving the levity of youth for age always feels like you can hang yourself on unnecessary weight. Here, Li avoids these traps by wrapping it all in driving rhythms and lyrical integrity. Nothing sounds too efforted or effortless. Everything in it’s right place really. And at 10 songs, she keeps you wanting more at the end. It’s a very ambitious line to take and I’m glad she took it. And I hope this sense of adventure continues well into the future.

Written by TopDrop

April 27th, 2011 at 12:13 am

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