It’s not untrue to describe Lykke Li’s new album as having the same approach. But it’s also not exactly true, either. so sad so sexy, the Swedish singer’s first album in four years, employs the same themes – a romance unraveling, a lingering sadness, a bit of hopelessness – but updates the arrangements for modern sensibilities, more subtle and less bombastic. I wouldn’t call any of these songs torch songs the way I did some on I Never Learn. It’s heartbreak for the dance floor, but clearly on a sadder note, which makes it a little more difficult to get behind this record than the last one. Yes, like in the last record, it can feel one-note, but it feels more one-note this time around. “Yeah, I know. This again?” It’s frustrating considering I was genuinely excited for Lykke Li’s music at some point, and now it feels like we’re being treated to retreads, a wallowing on the same emotions, dressed up. “It’s different this time.” Not really. [NB] | 2/5
For her third album, Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li swings further towards her mroe baroque pop tendencies. I Never Learn continues the heartbreak theme of her previous album, but this time around she focuses squarely on the ballads – that surefire way of telling everyone that, yes, what you’re singing is about heartbreak. They’re good ballads – a bit of Motown reverb, a bit of grimness, less subtle here than before – but I Never Learn suffers from sticking resolutely to one mood. It just goes on and on, and when you expect an uptick, there’s Lykke, still being melodramatic. Maybe it’s me expecting something along the lines of “I Follow Rivers” – that tackled the same theme but didn’t have the need to be so weepy about it. Maybe it’s just my allergy towards too much drama. This record is fine, by all means, but it definitely could be better. [NB] | 3/5
“I Follow Rivers” by Triggerfinger | Triggerfinger is a Belgian band. Their cover of Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers” was recorded for a Dutch radio station. I heard that cover in an Austrian radio station. That’s a lot of lovely cross-pollination, one that even the British don’t do. Geekery aside, this is proof that “I Follow Rivers” still sounds pleasant without the tribal elements (not that I don’t like them).