Lykke Li - Youth Novels

Ryan Owen 10/06/2008

Rating: 3.5/5

Youth Novels is the debut album from Lykke Li, and after a single and an EP this is kinda worth the wait.

The opening track 'Melodies & Desires sneaks up on you with a Joanna Newsom like quality and makes everything else around you subside to a silence. Next is 'Dance. Dance. Dance.'but it won't make you want to. That's a good thing. From here on, the album suffers slightly as a few songs breeze past without notice and are distinctly unmemorable, background music if you will. Then from nowhere Tonight secretly grabs your attention, and with a beautiful breakdown wind section, this is simply majestic. Little Bit follows on in this vein, the plucking on the harpsichord is like a light Architecture In Helsinki. This is a definite highlight of this album.

Hanging High, it sounds as if the Shout Out Louds have slowed down and turned female, whilst This Trumpet In My Head is literally a short spurt of trumpet with some stanza. As oppose to metaphorically of course.

Complaint Department & Breaking It Up feature synth and piano and many an effect (or two) quite prominently and this electro dance affair might sound better in a club environment and doesn't sit well with what has gone previous.

Everybody But Me returns the album from it's dance detour to a A Smile And A Ribbonish twee-corner. The wispy vocals on Time Flies over piano and mellotron are heart-breakingly sweet, and Window Blues is a stompy Meg White album closer with a theremin interlude..

Collectively this is a very Swedish record, with scarcely any obvious production, slight vocals and indie pop sensibilities, carefully put together by Björn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John fame.