Tuesday, August 19, 2008

youth novels by lykke li

It's like Madonna...only interesting!

It's here! It's finally here! After what seems like a lifetime of hype, Lykke Li's debut album Youth Novels drops stateside today. It's like waiting for an indie rock Santa Claus. In the interest of full disclosure, I've never seen St. Lykke preform live. However, I am 85% certain her feet do touch the ground. And yet she still manages to create catchy, light as a feather pop that almost matches up to the tidal wave of hype. Almost.

Youth Novels will not change your life. However, it will get your hips shaking (even if, as Li ever so helpfully points, they lie...because in reality I'm shy shy shy). This is an album for those who want to dance, even when drowning in the occasionally painful moment of public geekdom. This is a collection of anthems for those who straddle the line between geek and chic, usually wobbling toward the latter. This is my sort of music.

Li is at her best when she subscribes to the "dance first, ask questions later" mentality. The album's few weak moments clearly indicate that her metaphorical reach still extends her grasp. While the spoken-word opener, "Melodies & Desires", acts as a nice little primer to Youth Novel's main themes - music and love - the second such interlude, "This Trumpet in My Head", falls flat. No really, why can't you get the trumpet out of your head? Thankfully, such moments of dime store beat poetry are few and far between and the majority of the outing's emotional peaks and valleys play with the same cotton candy lightness as the Little Bit EP sneak peek.

"I'm Good I'm Gone" (the same song that taught us that all musicians in Sweden like to sit around in rooms together, being unspeakably cool) is a major standout. Which would probably explain why it's been topping my jogging playlist and having me daydream of doing karaoke. (Again with the "painful moment of public geekdom" thing!) While most of Youth Novels is preformed with the same "lonely girl dancing and singing in her room at midnight" vibe, spare, percussive instrumentation and a Lolitaesque falsetto making for a cohesive meditation on a theme, "I'm Good I'm Gone" finds Li taking control of her own romantic fate. Gone is the shy girl of "Everybody But Me" and the broken heart of "Tonight." Instead, Li issues a major kiss-off, reminding her jilted lover, You'll be calling but I won't be on the phone. Maybe not a complete 180 from the rest of her catalogue to date, but for those who argue that Li might be a one trick pony, this should act as enough assurance that she just might be hiding a few extra personae up her sleeve.

Lykke Li is coming stateside to check on her album. Don't disappoint Sweden's reigning pop princess by not showing up to the party.

mp3: "Little Bit Loving Hand Remix)" by Lykke Li
mp3: "I'm Good I'm Gone (Black Kids Remix)" by Lykke Li

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sorry to sound abrupt but - are you deaf?