In 2007, Stereogum, a popular music blog, proclaimed Lykke Li an artist to watch, but they did so with a caveat: they stated her music was “powdered-sugar pop” and in the same vein as Kylie Minogue.
It was a problematic assertion. There were and still are certian pop sensiblities that pervade Lykke’s music, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that she isn’t interested in being the next Kylie Monogue. Her new album Wounded Rhymes, certainly strengthens this rejection.
The album has many of the same elements that made her debut 2008 release, Youth Novels, so powerful, but it’s different this time. The music is more focused and pointed. From the opening seconds of “Youth Knows No Pain,” Lykke sets the tone for the rest of the album — it’s more atmospheric, more mature and more sombre.
The album still has the impetus that marked Youth Novels. Despite being slow in pace, “I Follow Rivers” is remarkably catchy, as are “Rich Kid Blues” and “Get Some.”
The album is a shift for the Swede, but it’s as good as her debut in an entirely different way, which is welcome.