With all of the hoopla for female artists coming out of the United Kingdom (Amy Winehouse, Adele), it would be easy for Swedish import Lykke Li (real name is Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson) to get lost in the shuffle.
To much anticipation, the 22-year-old’s debut album Youth Novels has finally been released in the United States after titillating audiences abroad for months already. Her rise might not have been as rapid or exotic as Duffy or as well-publicized as Winehouse, but Li endured her fair share of lumps and bruises along the way to being both an indie darling and hopefully a mainstream star.
Danceable music is what helps set many of these recent female artists apart, and Lykke Li is no exception. Her keep-on-moving attitude partly stems from the constant moving that her family did when she was young. She eventually found herself in New York City performing at small venues and open mic nights and, fortunately, back in Sweden to work with Bjorn Yttling (of Peter, Bjorn and John) on her music.
From the obvious “Dance, Dance, Dance” (which is dedicated to those that don’t like to dance), to the supremely catchy “I’m Good, I’m Gone,” to highly infectious group anthem “Breaking It Up,” Li keeps the music going and her feet moving throughout much of Youth Novels. Even the opening “Melodies & Desires” entices you to move your body with its lullaby rhythm and loving lyrics.
I refrained from mentioning anything sensual in that latter song despite the less-than-subtle lines of anytime lovemaking (“You’ll be the rhythm and I’ll be the beat / Then I’ll be the rhythm and you’ll be the beat / And love, the shoreline, where you and I meet”). There really is no shortage of sexuality, from either the highly suggestive “Let If Fall” or the hypnotically erotic “Little Bit” (download Loving Hand Remix here). And any confident man shouldn’t listen to “Complaint Department.”
Lykke Li is never hesitant in her music, going from song to song poised in her ability to successfully traverse from genre to genre and style to style while always moving her feet.