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Lykke Li's Youth Novels | A Pop Machine That's Got Moxie

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Artist: Lykke Li
Album: Youth Novels
Label: Atlantic Records
Release Date: August 19th, 2008

In a market where singer-songwriter-types like Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles can come to prominence virtually overnight, avant-pop songbird Lykke Li will invariably be left in the shadows. That's not to say there isn't any hope for some miraculous crossover, but it's more than unlikely. The primary reason for this being that the sum and substance of Li’s debut, Youth Novels, is off-kilter.

Nevertheless, Li’s masterful pop miniatures demonstrate a new breadth of handling, which can be partially attributed to the proficient knob-turning of Björn Yttling and Lasse Mårtén. The aforementioned production duo provides the perfect marriage of Swedish indie-rock and pop accoutrements. The impeccable construction merely paves the way for an elusive, spine-chilling quality that is inextricably tied to Scandinavian pop.

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Li’s eerily hushed melodies—waltzing and wafting in and out of the eardrum—certainly seem a bit too eccentric for the average American pop palate. Even worse, her sharp tongue, which grimly mocks contemporary pop motifs, may be easily misconstrued as some sort of heretical viewpoint.

Lykke Li - "Little Bit"