Smile Politely

Album Review: Lykke Li, Youth Novels

When I was first introduced to Lykke Li’s EP, Little Bit, I was entranced in the sheer uniqueness of her voice and music. Lately, it seems as though too many artists follow a certain guideline to their genre. I’m not saying that these guidelines detract from those bands’ talents, but it’s just refreshing to hear something new. Sure people will compare Li’s pretty pop vocals to Hanne Hukkelburg or El Perro Del Mar, but comparing will never quite do her music justice.

So as you can imagine, when I found out that her full album, Youth Novels, was released I was simply enthralled. When I listened to it, I was further enthralled with songs like “I’m Good, I’m Gone,” which instills a little more bitterness in her dainty folkpop showcased in her EP by adding harsher and harder piano behind her smokey vocals. I read in a interview in Spin that many of her songs were inspired by an on and off again relationship. So in “I’m Good, I’m Gone,” when she sings, “Well, say you’re not ‘cause I’m gone/You’ll be callin’ but I won’t be at the phone,” the presence of her reveling bitterness adds a little bit more to the haunting, melodious stream of love songs she’s created in her story (not album, Li claims). And also enthralled with the jazzier songs like “Let It Fall” which becomes an easy favorite on the album.

On the whole, the album supplements many different genres with most songs countered with the piano and/or a blanketed electronica especially during her dance-pop songs like “Breaking It Up” and “Dance, Dance, Dance” (my favorite from her EP). If Lykke Li doesn’t support your likings, at least you won’t be bored with the album with songs changing from pixie to smokey to dance to dark. It’s worth a listen.

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