Wounded Rhymes

Indie popstrel Lykke Li is well known inside her native Sweden after the success of her 2008 debut album Youth Novels, but its successor Wounded Rhymes could gain the singer an international following.

That Li has a gift for melody is beyond doubt, but now minimal arrangements and saccharine vocals have been replaced by pounding bass, off-kilter drumming, muscular 60s organ riffs and delicious girl group harmonies.

Written in Los Angeles in the aftermath of a painful break-up, the album is brimming with hurt and raw emotion – and self-pity is not one of them. Witness the ironic stoicism of the line ‘Sadness is my boyfriend / Oh, sadness, I’m your girl’ from Sadness Is a Blessing, or the phrase ‘I’m your prostitute’ from Get Some, Li becoming master of her own exploitation.

While the album’s retro-chic Phil Spector vibe does seem a little too self-conscious at times, Wounded Rhymes is explosively fun, irresistibly melodic and chock-filled with steely sentiment.

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