24 year old Swedish pop star Lykke Li's newest album Wounded Rhymes just might be the most painful pop album to come out this decade. Aside from love, there probably isn't a theme as universally understood as heartbreak.
From the beginning, Li dives deep into the bleakness of a broken heart and only surfaces periodically with a dance number or two before sinking back into the abyss. Without sounding like a broken record, Li poetically defines the feeling of loneliness and never sounds repetitive. Songs like 'Unrequited Love', 'Silent My Song' & 'Sadness is a Blessing' are full of unanswerable questions and pleas to the great almighty that feel like pages taken from the diary a 17 year old girl.
Musically speaking, Wounded Rhymes is as dark and industrial as a coal mine. Li uses rumbling drums, sporadic guitars, and lightly played piano notes over an electronic synthesizer drone that create a magnificently metallic sound that's full of smokey grit. Li's voice may be soft and sweet, but her vocals also have a slightly reverberated touch to them that gives her a painfully distant sound, as if she is magnifying her loneliness by singing in a vacant warehouse. Its the kind of voice that would probably make Jim James impressed and then shed a tear.
Yes, there are also a few rockin' dance numbers on this album, but by the end of Wounded Rhymes, it is clear that this isn't your typical pop album. It's an album that, like the black and white album artwork, comes in one of two ways: dark and darker.
Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes (Hype Machine Album Exclusive) by LykkeLi