Showing posts with label lykke li. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lykke li. Show all posts

Thursday, June 14, 2018

video review: 'so sad so sexy' by lykke li

Man alive, I wasn't planning on making this review... but overall, I wish this had been a lot better. 

Next up, Dierks Bentley (finally) - stay tuned!

album review: 'so sad so sexy' by lykke li

So a few weeks back when I reviewed the newest record from CHVRCHES I called out how the majority of the production issues of that project were endemic to producer Greg Kurstin, a talented producer that has an unfortunate habit of swallowing his mixes in reverb and emphasizing percussion over melodies. But I would be remiss to not call out the moments when his approach actually works, and there's one example I always return to: 2014's I Never Learn by Lykke Li, a bleakly emotive breakup album that somehow sustained real melodic hooks amidst the hollow darkness that may not have been the follow-up guaranteed to snag mainstream attention after 'I Follow Rivers' snagged attention in 2011, but that wasn't necessary. To this day I still consider I Never Learn as Lykke Li's most potent, cohesive, and emotionally gripping project to date, one record where Greg Kurstin's production seemed to really fit...

And thus I can't help but see a certain irony that four years later, just like Lily Allen did for her new album No Shame - a project destined for the Trailing Edge, stay tuned for it there - Lykke Li ditched Kurstin for her new album so sad so sexy for a much bigger team. And I'll admit I was a little concerned about this one: seemingly like the mainstream-adjacent follow-up seven years later incorporating elements of R&B and trap with rap guest features, this was about the furthest thing I was expecting from Lykke Li... but I won't deny I wasn't curious. So alright, what did we get with so sad so sexy?

Monday, May 5, 2014

video review: 'i never learn' by lykke li

Holy shit, this album was great. Seriously, I hope her singles blow up like nobody's business, because the mainstream is perfect for this sort of thing right about now.

Okay, next I'm going to talk about Styles P, because I need more time for Epica. Stay tuned!

album review: 'i never learn' by lykke li

I've talked before about my general aversion to cutesy, small-minded indie pop, especially the type that sticks close to conventional instrumentation and plays up the twee element to eleven - but at the same time, it's a genre that has other facets, and subverting those expectations can often be just as rewarding. I've talked before about St. Vincent, who undercut her classically-inspired instrumentation with subversive lyrics and experimental edge, but she's not the only one who has tackled this playing field.

This brings us to Lykke Li, an artist who I originally expected to dislike a lot more than I do, especially off of her first album Youth Novels. It was a minimalist, underwritten exploration of young, immature emotion, all delivered through Lykke Li's high girlish vocals - and yet it worked. Lykke Li had a great grasp of melody, a phenomenal grip on atmosphere thanks to stellar production, and the balance she held between saccharine sweetness and unnerving wisdom was impressive. And in a natural step forward, her second album Wounded Rhymes improved every element, deepening and expanding the soundscapes while bringing forward a much more assertive presence behind the microphone and cleaning up some of the clumsier songwriting. It's definitely a solid record that showed Lykke Li was a force in indie pop to be reckoned with, and I was psyched for her newest album I Never Learn, not just for the album but for the potential mainstream breakthrough it could represent. After all, she was only getting better and if there was a time where minimalist, melody-driven indie pop could have a crack at the mainstream, it'd be now. As great as 'I Follow Rivers' was - and make no mistake, that song's amazing - it came out in 2011, the charts were still locked in the club boom, they weren't ready for Lykke Li yet. So, I picked up her newest album and gave it a few listens - is this the smash for which we've been waiting?