I Never Learn

Lykke Li's music has always felt a degree removed, her dreamy melodies sung through a fog. The Swedish singer-songwriter's last album, 2011's Wounded Rhymes, was her catchiest yet. This follow-up confronts a more deliberate truth, with melancholy songs full of heartbreak, disillusion and redemption. Some of them are almost anthems – "Love Me Like I'm Not Made of Stone" delivers gloriously raw emotion. The album's Spector-ish arrangements, thick with multitracked vocals and densely layered instruments, don't always add as much as they should: The simplest songs here are the most a ecting. If Lykke Li keeps refining her voice, she'll soon rank as an A-list pop heart-crusher.

From The Archives Issue 1208: May 8, 2014