[Album Review] Lykke Li: I Never Learn
Swedish artist Lykke Li is known for her combination of electronic, synth, indie and pop genres into a unique blend of melodic electro-pop. Pleasantly, her third, newly released album I Never Learn is no different. However, unlike her previous albums, I Never Learn was inspired heavily by her recent relocation to the United States and the painful end of a romantic relationship. This isn’t the upbeat, flirtatious Li you made out to at a party that one time, but instead we’re exposed to a deeper, painful side of her heart.
I Never Learn is a short album featuring 9 songs, and clocks in at 33 minutes. However, it packs a huge emotional punch in the mere space it occupies. As a ballad rich album, Li manages to weave a message of hope with her song “Silver Line” between emotionally raw songs like “Never Gonna Love Again” and “Sleeping Alone”. Most of us will never experience the pain of moving across the world and feeling isolated, but everyone knows heartbreak, and that’s what makes I Never Learn approachable and relatable.
Don’t think that just because this is a break-up album it comes across as depressing. Instead of something sad to commiserate with, this entire album is vehicle for emotional release, as heard specifically in her track “Gunshot” and her opening track “I Never Learn”. She also manages to use her vocal range to showcase her emotional strength throughout I Never Learn. Many of the songs on her previous albums featured the higher register of her soprano voice, making her seem coy and polite. This album sounds more exposed and rough with a lower, bolder sound--but it doesn’t make her sound angry. Instead, Lykke Li sends a message of power, strength and recovery while displaying her vocal range.
Lykke Li – “Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone”
LL Recordings and Atlantic Records
[Released May 2014]
I Never Learn may be a different type of release for Lykke Li, but through this album she has proven herself as a well-rounded, strong artist. And created something everyone can relate to.
Favorite track: No Rest For The Wicked
Serving Suggestion: Friday night in with a glass of wine