Lykke Li Gets Intimate With Pop Music

Aug 18th, 2008 // 3 Comments

lykke.jpgFrom time to time, we like to round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Today’s entry is the new album from Swedish pop singer Lykke Li, whose album Youth Novels hits the non-import racks of US record stores tomorrow.

• “The arrangements also dress simple tunes in surprising ways, with odd choral bits and percolating percussion webs that should tease movement from even reluctant hips. No surprise that, as YouTube confirms, Lykke Li is also a freaky dancer.” [RS]

• “Chart music today is often so gloriously maximal that reproducing any of its thrills on limited means can seem an impossible task. By paying attention to detail, [Peter Bjorn and John's Bjorn] Yttling and Li’s prove that doesn’t have to be the case. But even more impressive is the way their intimate, playful miniatures capture the daring and novelty of modern pop, as well as its hooks.” [Pitchfork]

• “There are shades of Björk and Feist in her spacey voice, which on her first album is paired with a raw, electro-pop score that makes tracks such as ‘I’m Good, I’m Gone’ and ‘Breaking It Up’ 101 percent addictive. And what about ‘This Trumpet in My Head’i? Pffffttt. We can only hope she never makes enough money to move to Los Angeles to do Pilates and Timbaland.” [SF Chronicle]

• “Brimming with ideas but understated, even tentative in executing them, and big on hooks but nervously intimate in presentation, Youth Novels is a curious, decidedly unorthodox but endearing record. Both youthful and novel–Li was twenty-one upon its release, which may explain both her occasional goofy vocal affectations and the hesitant freshness of her sound–it’s hard to pigeonhole but refreshingly easy to enjoy.” [Allmusic]

  1. Nunya B

    This album is so good! I love how sparse it feels, and how bitchy she is- it’s not as sweet as other Scandinavian pop (like Marit, or even Robyn sometimes, whose affectations of grit are charming but not entirely convincing).

    Incidentally, if anyone wants a ticket to her NYC show later this month, it’s yours. Free. I can’t go anymore.

  2. TheRunningboard7

    Little Bit = the only song stuck in my head for duration of entire summer.

    I really like what I’ve heard off of this album so far.

    … but dear god is she ever a freak dancer.

  3. sparkletone

    It took me about half a listen to fall in love with this album, and it’s been in heavy rotation for me pretty much all summer. I’ve been kind of surprised by how much I like it, really. I loved Dance Dance Dance instantly, and that was the first thing I’d heard of Li’s, but I didn’t really expect much from the album. But it took about two listens to become one of my favorites of the year, and as I said, it’s been one I’ve been listening to constantly since.

    The amount of space in the production, and a lot of the unusual little flourishes and touches (some of which I think are maybe accidents/mistakes left uncorrected) make for something I’ve been able to listen to a ton without running out of things to notice.

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