Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
With one album locked and loaded and another due to be released shortly, Lykke Li is an artist poised to buffet the charts. This Swedish singer/songwriter has had a taste of what success could mean and does not want to let this chance pass through her fingers. As an alternative rocker with the viability of popular music, Li has an undiscovered appeal that should have teens to twenty-somethings licking their lips in anticipation of what she could birth.
Her first album, Youth Novels, has stirred ripples in her native Sweden and teased the rest of the world after its 2008 release. It contained singles such as "Little Bit," an obsessive, whimsical love song with striking accompanying percussion and "I'm Good, I'm Gone," a crystal clean performance that spotlights her talents and is simply a composition a weak singer could not pull off. Also of note on the album are "Let it Fall," with its quick, punctuating vocals and "Dance, Dance, Dance" and its deceptively strong lyrics.
Another song to seek out is "Tonight," which allows things to slow down before teasing with playfully haunting and pleading vocals. Youth Novels is a first release worthy of accolades.
Wounded Rhymes is the title of Li's second album, which will bring March in like a lion. The lead single is "Get Some" and this Tarantino-esque production is cool and sharp, skilfully dicing your senses, leaving you wondering what just happened. Just released, "I Follow Rivers" is a metaphoric number that gets a little darker than what we have witnessed from Li thus far. Listening to this song you can almost envision scenes of a movie meandering by. This song is perfectly suited for a soundtrack, something she may well be aware of after having her song "Possibility" on the New Moon CD.
Li's lazy pronunciation and hollow, echoing voice reverberate well as her lyrics of love and hurt make you think – something that is the mark of an artist with real talent. Her vocals are fallacious in that you do not realize their strength immediately. Almost coquettish, she has an ability to shock with her infusion of sexual innuendoes slickly, like a precision blade through fat.
Despite the glowing potential, she really does need to try not to get too cute and play too much toward the pop scene. To simply rely upon what has put her in this advantageous position is all she needs to keep doing.