How rad is the new Lykke Li record? The 24-year-old Swedish singer has got style and confidence in spades, and her second album Wounded Rhymes is an enthralling excursion into a hardboiled wonderland of melodies and desire. Musically sturdier than her debut Youth Novels (2008), the ten songs on Wounded Rhymes color her portraits of heartbreak and loneliness with a new palette of sophisticated, shape-shifting sounds – in the form of the vamped up exuberance on lead single “Get Some”, the baroque swoon of “Love Out Of Lust”, and the understated melancholy of “Unrequited Love” and “I Know Places”.
Recorded during a stint in California and apparently while she was ‘romanticizing the idea of Los Angeles when the Doors, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young were hanging out there”, Li’s vocal performance on Wounded Rhymes reverberates with a sensual energy that manages to both transcend and deepen the sense of romantic restlessness captured on the new songs. “Paris Blue”, the non-album B-side to the “Get Some” single, is recorded pretty much in the same vein of Wounded Rhymes – a somewhat Lynchian torch ballad that effortlessly conjures up a vertiginous mood of yearning. And so empires crumble, republics founder. But fools must go on. – Keith.
Wounded Rhymes is available directly from lykkeli.com