Many hip hop heads might only recall Lykke Li’s music from Drake’s So Far Gone mixtape (“Little Bit”), but the Swedish singer/songwriter is much more than an artist Drake sampled for a project.
Currently on her third album, which is considered to be the final entry in a thematically-related trilogy that began with her first two albums (2008’s Youth Novels, 2011’s Wounded Rhymes), Lykki Li depicts the events of a relationship gone south.
In order, the album closes with “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone,” “Never Gonna Love Again,” “Heart of Steel” and “Sleeping Alone.” But punishing titles are, in this case, misleading: This record is neither overwhelmingly sad nor excruciatingly personal. Li has demonstrated throughout every step of her career that she understands how strangely delicious it is to sing sad songs in the sunshine. We need both, sometimes at the same time. Her music is always going to bounce a little, if her vocals are down, or the harmonies are going to be particularly light and swinging if the melody stays minor. Providing a path out of the darkest places in her music is part of what makes Lykke Li records so special
01 I Never Learn
02 No Rest For The Wicked
03 Just Like A Dream
06 Love Me LIke I’m Not Made of Stone
07 Never Gonna Love Again
08 Heart of Steel
09 Sleeping Alone
Available for pre-order on iTunes, I Never Learn can be heard in it’s entirety courtesy of NPR’s First Listen.