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May 11, 2014 | by  | in Arts Music |
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Lykke Li – I Never Learn [Review]

4/5 Stars

Ballads, bro. Ballads as far as the eye can see.

I Never Learn is a sad album. I was having a pretty good afternoon before I put it on; now it feels like 4 am on a lonely Saturday. She’s down, but accepting of it. Defiant, even. This sounds like two weeks after a breakup: the immediate pain/pleasure has dissipated, now you’re just getting used to your new life, missing hundreds of little things but realising these feelings are understandable, even slightly desirable. This is an album for wallowing.

You don’t even have to put it on to get the feel; just look at the track names. ‘Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone’. ‘Sleeping Alone’. ‘Never Gonna Love Again’.

If you’re looking for another ‘I Follow Rivers’, you’re not going to find it here. This is a short album of somewhat similar songs. But it’s really good. Lykke Li can sing better than any of you. Every melody feels refined, every soaring chorus carefully planned out. The drums throb with energy, while the rest of the instrumentation kind of pleasantly fade into the background, occasionally popping up for a few singular piano keys or, of course, acoustic guitar strumming, the traditional weapon of the sad song. A friend said it sounded like Phil Collins, and she wasn’t wrong. Right now, ‘Gunshot’ is the track I keep going back to. But this is the kind of album you like in waves; I’m sure I’ll have a phase with nearly every song on here.

This is not an album that you will love immediately, but it is an album that you will go back to.

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