Wounded Rhymes by Lykke Li
This broad has been gettin major hype via everyone on the internet these days. Not sure why it has taken me so long to listen to her. Maybe it’s because the last super hyped artsy(ish) female solo act I heard was Joanna Newsom, and she’s pretty much the worst. Maybe it’s because I heard she had a song that got her sort of famous on the Twilight soundtrack. Maybe it’s just because her name looks ‘pretentious’. Whatever the reason it definitely wasn’t justified. Because for the most part “Wounded Rhymes” was pretty great.
Sadness is a blessing. Sadness is a bird. Sadness is my boyfriend. Oh sadness i’m your girl.
Stylistically the album is really all over the place. From the funky and exotic sounding “I Follow Rivers”, with its thumping base and tropical drum elements, to the completely stripped down “I Know Places”. There is very little ground that Lykke Li doesn’t cover. That being said, the album’s emotional range might actually extend even further. At times Lykke seems invincible like in the confident and smooth “Youth Knows no Pain”. And then there’s “Get Some”, with its chorus, “Like a shotgun needs an outcome. I’m a prostitute. I’m gonna get some”. It’s as brash and powerful a display of sexuality as possible in a pop song. It’s hard to believe that on the same album there is the delicate (and gorgeous) girl group throwback “Unrequited Love” which almost plays like an old timey wind up music box, just barely having enough energy to make it through another revolution.
Although she shows plenty of spunk boldness throughout her second album, I think Lykke Li is most firmly in her comfort zone when she is expressing heart wrenching misery. My favorite track “Sadness is Blessing” is an over the top ‘Jens Lekman’ type of pathetic ballad. The whole song seems to be delivered with a sense of dark humor, which is really what you need when you are at your lowest sometimes.
Not every song on the album is flawless. “Jerome” is too muddled, oddly industrial sounding and never really allows an opening for you to connect with the songs protagonist. Also, I really wanted to like the song “Rich Kids Blues”, possibly just because of the name. But the song ends up being just short of annoying. However, set the few missteps aside and you have a really impressive album with a few absolutely top notch tracks.
Wounded Rhymes: 4 out of 5