Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes

March 23rd, 2011 by Amanda Nolan


Lykke Li’s back – and she’s not that cute girl-next-door anymore. The Swedish indie artist has returned with her follow-up to 2008’s infectious Youth Novels, the innovatively moody and sexy Wounded Rhymes. In her sophomore attempt, Li abandons the girl that everyone expected her to be. Gone is the girl who is telling you to “dance, dance, dance.” Gone is the girl who sings on top of light melodies. Li has grown up and out of the bubblegum world – and into a darker place.

And, for Li, this works. If Youth Novels was an imaginative record of Li’s adolescence, then Wounded Rhymes is a mature album of her experience since then in a way that highlights her musical prowess. She starts off strong with “Youth Knows No Pain,” an obvious reference to her first record, in which she challenges, “So come on honey, cut yourself to pieces / Come on honey, give yourself completely.” The track ultimately sets the tone for the entire disc – that the young have no experience of love lost, messes made, or struggles faced.

The songs “Unrequited Love” and “Sadness Is A Blessing” – which share similar themes – are both poised and powerful when discussing a somewhat overused topic. Lykke Li is able to give them new light, turning them into refreshing and poignant songs. Not everything is about love and sadness; Wounded Rhymes also draws attention to Lykke Li’s sexy side. The track “Get Some” is one of the album’s best, featuring pounding, fast-paced beats and a straightforward message: “Like a shotgun needs an outcome / I’m your prostitute, you gon’ get some.” Here, Li shows her vast lyrical ability – not everyone can discuss being a pseudo-prostitute in such an eloquent fashion.

The album does lose some of its steam during its last three songs – “I Know Places,” “Jerome,” and “Silent My Song” – but, that does not mean they are bad songs, unworthy of your time. At this point, Li has wound down, resulting in three mellow tracks that end an overall fantastic album.

You can download Wounded Rhymes on




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