Tag Archives: Björn Yttling

Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes

Lykke Li
Wounded Rhymes
25 February 2011
LL Recordings/Warner Bros. Records/ WMG
Lykke Li Youth Novels

1.Youth Knows No Pain // 2. I Follow Rivers //  3. Love Out Of Lust // 4. Unrequited Love // 5. Get Some // 6. Rich Kids Blues // 7. Sadness Is A Blessing // 8. I Know Places // 9. Jerome // 10. Silent My Song

2011, the year of Lykke Li’s Zachrisson second album, is more than an uneven number, for Wounded Rhymes is very different from Youth Novels. Björn Yttling again teams up with Lykke Li and their gem of a single I Follow Rivers gives Lykke Li enormous exposure over TV and radio. Remix after remix follows of which The Magician version in some ways obscures the original single. I found the Magician’s Remix rather boomy sounding but more danceable. I guess ‘danceable’ sells much better…

Where Youth Novels mostly tells stories with a girly frailty Wounded Rhymes sounds rougher and more grown up. Youth Knows No Pain is pretty much a live-it-up-song inspired by being youthful. The intro though via subtle hints makes way for a bombastic rhythm driven yet melodiously interwoven track that sounds as if I imagined I travelled back at least 40 years in time. Nostalgia leads to the Doors, I dig that sound. That organ… Back to my senses I Follow Rivers is more dance oriented yet sounds more heavy than dance floor material. Beats pound, percussion patterns do a rhythmic dance while Lykke Li sings a bit lower with her voice sounding a bit more raspy. This song works with its intriguing lyrics about clinging to her lover while the rhythms move you and induce curiosity melodiously accompanied by that organ again until the echoes lure you to Love Out Of Lust.

Love Out Of Lust continues the adventure of I Follow Rivers with a call to celebrate love via dancing. The lover vocals work miracles with the overall production of this track. Peter Bjorn and John’s Björn Yttling gives you a gentle wall of sound with whistle tones, echoes, slow grooves and rhythms that carry a vibe that is perfectly described by the lyrics. Unrequited Love bursts the bubble though. A foot taps, an electric guitar plays and the raspy sounding voice is being backed up by the choir in an acoustic song. Unanswered love makes way for lust and dominance. Bombastic beats and rhythm patterns pull you in while the electronic groove pulls you into Get Some while I can’t sit still. This is real dance floor material with a sixties vibe. The overall production again is worth of a attentive listen. Björn Ytlling’s musical approach is a pleasure inducing the listener into repeat listens.

Rich Kids Blues continues the sixties sound with an organ driven song. As the song becomes more bombastic the rock sound becomes more apparent while Lykke Li sings about being in her rich kid bubble. The bubble bursts again as the slow Sadness Is A Blessing becomes audible. “My wounded rhymes make silent cries tonight”, which provides this album a title, is the first line of this song and as the song progresses the bombastic productions gives this song and extra dimension. Counting the layers is almost mandatory. Oh yes the lover is gone again, back to being a single. Sadness leads to I Know Places. It’s an acoustic song about shelter and comfort. The feeling of a small tear tells me enough.

The slow fade out leads to Jerome. Possessive desire for Jerome is found. As the song becomes more bombastic and more layers become distinguishable while the screams increase. “You’ve got me for nothing Jerome” should be enough of a clue. Silent My Song continues the plot as the bombastic instrumentals emphasize the intensity of the emotions expressed in the lyrics. Intense pleasure and pain silent the song. This track is quite the closer.

As you might have noticed this album is different from the first album. Lykke Li sings with a lower and more raspy voice increasing her reach. The lyrical content is more grown up and the instrumentals induce nostalgia with the typical organs and the bombastic wall of sound from several decades ago. The Doors, Kate Bush and many other names come to mind with this album.

Best Tracks
Unrequited Love
Get Some
I Know Places
Silent My Song

If you liked Youth Novels get this album. Whether you liked the debut or not this album is at least worth a listen. This album is an adventure and the production sounds super amazing, especially through a good sound system.

My regards,


Lykke Li – Youth Novels

Lykke Li
Youth Novels
30 January, 2008
LL Recordings/Warner Bros. RecordsWMG
Lykke Li - Youth Novels

1.Melodies&Desires // 2.Dance, Dance, Dance // 3.I’m Good I ‘m Gone // 4.Let It Fall // 5.My Love // 6.Tonight // 7.Little Bit // 8.Hanging High // 9.This Trumpet In My Head // 10.Complaint Department // 11.Breaking It Up // 12.Everybody But Me // 13.Time Flies // 14.Window Blues

2008 is the year of this album. Before Lykke Li Zachrisson became popular she was already busy in the early 2k years on Myspace. Björn Yttling also producer of Peter, Bjorn and John started working with Lykke Li and her songs combined with Björn’s quirky dance sound found ears on Swedish MTV. In 2007 the LP Little Bit gained popularity and after TV-appearances on MTV her first album saw the light. Sales figures? I don’t know but but apparently they were good enough for a second album to be released in 2011. The live footage of her acoustic performances is enough of an indication of her success for me…

The first track is a spoken word composition with melody driven sounds. There is a romantic influence which reminds me of Yann Tiersen and Eric Satie. I will not explain too much given the title says it all, Melodies & Desires. Dance, Dance, Dance picks up the pace gently with a quirky song about, how obvious, dancing. The context of the lyrics though is more playful than the title indicates. I’m Good I’m Gone is one of the best Pop tracks I have heard in ages. The arrangements are poppy but the vocals and lyrics sound very original. This track in particular brings me back to the better stand-up-for-yourself-Soul.

Let It Fall is slower and more stripped of instruments and a girlish song about expressing oneself. From tears to love My Love makes its entrance and more frail and girlish vocals enter my ears. The song is quite lovely and the lyrics tell about a girl waiting for her love. Tonight is a childishly romantic guilty pleasure that can be explained by this line: “Don’t you let me go, let me go tonight…” The instrumentals, stripped yet clear are very effective.

Little Bit picks up the pace again. The electronic groove is more present. This song is a little gem with lyrics about ‘little’ relations. Girlish vocals with mature lyrics. Hanging High sounds like a sweet cross-breed between Pop and Country with a slow pace and a present piano. Lyrically it is about needing comfort in a manner vague and clear at the same time . This Trumpet In My Head is a short intermezzo starting with an acoustic guitar ending with a trumpet in your head making way for Complaint Department. The song is about disappointment with a darker electronic undertone yet the effective arrangements still sound bare. Basically a “shit happens” song and quite a good one at that.

Breaking It Up starts noisy and continues as an Indie Pop song with bare arrangements and the frail and girlish vocals. I almost get the sense that here vocals reach a limit here but it works for the song. Even the back-up choir sound stressed to the limit. Everybody But Me is a slower song, more electronic about not feeling at ease and not wanting anything. Time Flies follows and lets you hear Lykke Li on the tops of her voice with predominantly the piano to guide the song. The frailty of her voice and the romantic lyrics combined are very effective. Window Blues closes the album. It is a bluesy song about keeping your loved one close. The undertone is heavy, melancholic and the vocals sound more nasal yet determined. The Youth Novels end here…

Youth Novels takes you down a trip of love affairs, life and disappoint to come back at the bluesy side of it. The instrumentals rarely sound too loud and the bare compositions don’t give me the feeling I am missing out on anything. The vocals are remarkably effective and work with the album even if Lykke Li doesn’t have the reach of Alicia Keys. Besides that the lyrics are sometimes so well thought out that I can only admire the song craft of this album.

Best Tracks
Dance, Dance, Dance
I’m Good I’m Gone
Little Bit
Complaint Department
Window Blues

This album has become a favourite of mine. In my opinion there is no real filler on this album, just good music for people who want to try something different which is still within the pop-genre. I recommend this album, which is particularly pleasant to listen to on a good sound system. The musical arrangements are a pleasure…

My regards,