No pain found in ‘Wounded Rhymes’

By Christine Saraceno
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When you think of possible locations where indie music might flourish, London or New York may cross your mind. As of lately though, the unlikely country of Sweden is the place that’s producing many of the fresh new artists that are bound to infiltrate your iPod.

Such artists include Robyn (who’s album, “Body Talk Pt. 2”, has gained her a substantial American fan base), Peter, Bjorn, and John (who’s song “Young Folks” was the theme song to many television commercials), and relative newcomer indie pop songstress Lykke Li.

Li first came on the scene in 2008 with her album “Youth Novels” and although it received generally favorable reviews it failed to make an impact and gain her any real following. With her sophomore release, “Wounded Rhymes,” Li proves that her musical prowess stretches beyond what her safe and reserved debut initially offered.

Entirely produced by Li and Bjorn Yttling (of the aforementioned group Peter, Bjorn, and John), “Wounded Rhymes” kicks off with the optimistic, ’60s inspired “Youth Knows No Pain” which seamlessly transitions into the melodically simple and bouncy “I Follow Rivers.”

The tempo takes a sharp dive with the sleepy, yet lyrically beautiful ballads “Love Out of Lust” and “Unrequited Love” which display Li’s silky vocals like never before. It’s an odd choice on the part of Li and Yttling to put what arguably should be the last two tracks on the album as the third and fourth though.

The album picks up steam in the middle particularly with it’s lead single, the sexually charged, percussion-based song “Get Some” which, with it’s heavy tribal influence, sounds significantly over-produced compared to the other songs.

When asked about her thoughts of Li’s new songs, Valencia student, Vanessa Ludo said “I really like them. It’s partially a dance album and partially an emotional one so I like the balance of it.”

The balance isn’t quite right though. While the songs are all generally enjoyable there’s a lack of real power to the songs and a distinct melancholy feeling hovers over the listener’s entire musical journey.

Overall, it’s an acceptable album that, due to unimpressive rhythmic variations and questionable choices in featured material, falls just short of great. With some slight reflection on the nature of her sound, these flaws will surely be missing from her junior release.