Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes (Atlantic)
I spent the first half of this year telling everyone that Wounded Rhymes was the only contender for album of the year and anyone who thought differently had to be a cloth-eared muppet. Well, if the album I HAVE picked as number one wasn’t so bloody wonderful, this album would have got top slot, easy.
There are problems with Lykke Li: she comes across as a bit of a dick, to be fair, and her label still seem to be keen to market her as some sort of Hoxton-friendly pop moppet. But there is SO much more going on. This is bleak girl group pop, offkilter, warped, depressed. There are pop songs here for sure, the percussion-driven Get Some, the catchy as hell Youth Knows No Pain, but Lykke is so seemingly heartbroken and despairing, everything is infused with darkness and perversion and a bitter tang. This is nothing like her first album, which was a Robyn-esque, chart friendly affair (not a bad thing – Little Bit was a gem). This is an ambitious second effort from a woman who clearly has her own vision. And it’s a thing of wonder.
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