Music Review: Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes (2011)


Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes

I’ll just come out and say it right off the bat — Wounded Rhymes is a freaking god-tier indie pop album. If CunninLynguists didn’t exist this would be my front-runner for album of the year and nothing else really comes close at this point. If this came out last year I would’ve had to seriously consider making it my AOTY for 2010. So yeah…I really like this.

When you compare Wounded Rhymes to (her previous album) Youth Novels, Lykke Li might as well be two completely different people. In that album she sounded quieter and more timid; here her voice is more or less in your face. Make no mistake about it — her new style is miles better than how she was on her previous album.

There’s also more going on in the background here than on Li’s first LP. It’s not a HUGE difference because the minimalist sound of that album is still the foundation here but now a few more instruments are added and more “stuff” is going on. In addition to that on a lot of songs Li’s voice is multiplied so she’s singing lead + backup vocals. This helps flesh out the album a little more.

Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes (Hype Machine Album Exclusive) by LykkeLi

Even though I’m making it sound like every song is upbeat and energetic that’s really not the case. It’s almost split 50/50 between the faster catchy songs and the slower more atmospheric stuff. I think I like the energetic songs more but both types of songs complement each other well and make this a really solid all-around album.

Even after saying all of that, I don’t love every second of this album. In particular I have issues with “Unrequited Love”. There are parts of that song I enjoy but I really do not like the chorus. She shrieks really loud during the chorus of that song and it comes close to hurting my ears.

Unrequited Love aside, this album is fantastic from start to finish. The rest of the album more than makes up for the problems I had with that song. Maybe I’m getting too easy with my review scores — after this my last two reviews add up to a combined 19.75/20. It’s a good thing Wiz Khalifa is coming along to bring that average down.
Score: 9.75/10

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