Lykke Li “I Never Learn” Review

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Artist: Lykke Li

Album: I Never Learn

Release Date: May 06, 2014

More than 3 years after Lykke Li’s compelling sophomore album Wounded Rhymes, she comes back to the scene with a mournful follow up, I Never Learn. The third installment chronicles Lykke Li’s journey as she tries to cope with and mend from a relationship gone south only to find herself blossom into the artist she longed to be. Compared with her previous albums, I Never Learn poses to be the most commercial sounding yet. However, that’s not a bad thing, supposed she still managed to experiment to a certain degree.

The album opens up with a rather gorgeous title track, I Never Learn. Like a siren, the song lures listeners in with its half a minute of catchy guitar strumming before engulfing them in its warmth only to be left out in the cold again as it concludes with a minute and a half of weeping violins.The only downside to this song is that it’s too short, nonetheless, it’s a beautiful introduction which successfully sets the atmosphere of the album.

With its melancholy melody and huge choruses, the lead single, No Rest for the Wicked, is without a doubt one of the best singles to come out this year. Its lyrics are painfully exquisite, while her delicate vocals bring forth a wave of hurt and sadness as she sings above the currents of tinkering piano and flourishing percussions.

Although its lyrics points otherwise, this bittersweet track, Just Like a Dream, emits a positive groove which is complimented by its tribal-esque drum beats and booming but melodically lax chorus.

Preceding the released of the lead single, Lykke Li premiered the track, Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone. From the vocals to the production, It’s a song so raw and naked that it’s barren of any pop sensibility. Nevertheless, that rawness is what this song needed; it’s Lykke Li at her most vulnerable.

The Greg Kurstin tracks, Gunshot and Silver Line, though they are great in their own right, are probably the weakest tracks on the album. Gunshot is definitely no Get Some, however in a sea of brooding power ballads, this semi twangy track is a welcome change of pace. Whereas, Silver Line comes last place when it comes to the ballads, but it does have one of the best intros on the album; it’s quite meditating.

The album is cohesive overall, consequently the slow pace of the album may cause the songs to sound similar and dull on first listen. Nonetheless, the album’s short duration managed to mitigate that problem, hence making it an easy and enjoyable album to listen to from beginning to end.

From the Gospel chorus of Heart of Steel to the pop ballad, Never Gonna Love Again, Lykke Li’s lamentation bore a fruitful album, an album showcasing the beautiful and ugly traits of heartache without all the whining. It’s a beautiful album through and through.

Songs to Download: No Rest For the Wicked, I Never Learn, Never Gonna Love Again, Just Like a Dream, Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone

Rating: 8.8


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