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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh I shouldn't but I do like this!
let's get this off my hairy, neanderthal, roots rock loving, Zeppelin obsessed chest, this should not be my cup of tea. This is slightly out there, a bit leftfield and a bit poppy. However, after a few listens it appears that I get this. Think of Bjork, Royskopp and even The Eurythmics and you are starting to get a feel for what to expect from this album. It has...
Published on 19 May 2008 by David J. Kelly

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good easy listening with an occassional hint of melancholy!
I'd not tried an Lykke Li before, nor indeed had I heard of her.
But having listened through this album I would recommend you stick with it and hopefully you'll come to enjoy it as much as I have.

From the slightly quirky opening track, 'Melodies & desires', its onto a more upbeat track, 'Dance, Dance, Dance'.
From then on its an interesting variety...
Published on 20 May 2008 by A. Davis


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh I shouldn't but I do like this!, 19 May 2008
By 
David J. Kelly (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Youth Novels (Audio CD)
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let's get this off my hairy, neanderthal, roots rock loving, Zeppelin obsessed chest, this should not be my cup of tea. This is slightly out there, a bit leftfield and a bit poppy. However, after a few listens it appears that I get this. Think of Bjork, Royskopp and even The Eurythmics and you are starting to get a feel for what to expect from this album. It has melodies and subtle hooks with the breathy, feminime voice of Lykke Li herself. In all it is very enjoyable and a guilty pleasure I think I may revisit. The best songs are the excellent opener, "Melodies & Desires", the single "A Little Bit" and theback to back "Complaint Department" and "Breaking It Up" but there isn't really a weak track.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lykke li so, 6 Sep 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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For the record, Lykke Li has one of the most punnish stage names in all of the pop world.

Fortunately the obvious jokes are no reflection on the talents of this fledgling Swedish singer (real name: Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson), whose high soft voice and uniquely pretty music are reminiscent of singers like El Perro Del Mar, Hanne Hukkelberg and Stina Nordenstam. And her full-length debut "Youth Novels" is an exquisite one -- wistful, bittersweetly elfin songs set to deceptively simple-sounding electro-folkpop.

It opens with a gentle stream of piano and strings, as Lykke Li quietly instructs a lover on how to hold her. "Follow these instructions/Do exactly as I do... Love is the harmony/Desire is the key/Love is a symphony/Now play it with me..."

Things pick up with the more "Dance Dance Dance," a simple little song about expressing your feelings via dancing ("When I'm shaking my hips/Look for the swing/The words are written in the air"), and the plunkin piano of "I'm Good I'm Gone" ("Well, say you're not 'cause when I'm gone/You'll be callin' but I won't be at the phone!"). But things start relaxing with the jazzier pop melody of "Let It Fall."

From there, Lykke Li explores some of the more mellow niches -- she tries out haunting folk songs tinged with synth, melancholy guitar pop, exquisitely wistful ballads, dark electropop, and a weird experimental number where she spends a long time muttering "can't get that trumpet outta my head... I woke up the night... can't get that trumpet outta my head!" The album ends on a rather dark note with the stomping ballad "Window Blues ("Don't go all soft on me/don't come across for me/don't lose your selfish ways over me...."

The entire "Youth Novels" album has a feeling of bittersweet intimacy -- it's sitting with a friend whose heart has just started to heal, and watching the snowflakes flutter down outside the window. And while the first couple songs are a bit on the lightweight side, Lykke Li quickly expands her repertoire and shows just how many kinds of pop she can do. Well, she does them all pretty well.

And her music is also very pretty -- we've got a bit of jazz, a bit of indie pop, and a veil of pale, soft electronica laid over it all like a blanket. She even does some experimentation in such songs as "Can't Get That Trumpet Out Of My Head" and the peppier "Dance Dance Dance." The latter is the most mellow, downtempo dance song I've ever heard -- and most of it is just drums and a tapped bell.

The rest of the time, you can hear a delicate web of solid instrumentation -- half-smothered saxophone, a folky acoustic guitar, a xylophone, piano melodies that can be heavy or tinkly as the song demands, a bit of kettle drum, and stretches of gentle plaintive strings. Oh yes, and some moments of buzzy dark synthpop, like in the gloriously dark "Complaint Department," and a swirling Spanish guitar that winds through "Can't Get That Trumpet Out Of My Head."

And then there's the vocals. This girl has a voice of spun glass and sunlit icicles, and regardless of what she sings she sounds incredibly sweet and fragile. Despite some awkward moments ("For you I keep my legs apart" -- ouch), her lyrics are also quite sweet -- the absence of love is painful and sometimes breaking up makes you anry, while love's presence brings you shyness, joy and defensiveness. Just look at the one about communicating love through dance.

"Youth Novel" is everything a debut album should be. While it's a bit fluffy at the start, it soon becomes obvious that Lykke Li is a master of many kinds of electropop. Definitely keep an eye on this girl.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love is a symphony, 19 Aug 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Youth Novels (Audio CD)
For the record, Lykke Li has one of the most punnish stage names in all of the pop world.

Fortunately the obvious jokes are no reflection on the talents of this fledgling Swedish singer (real name: Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson), her high soft voice, and her unique brand of pop music. And her full-length debut "Youth Novels" is an exquisite little confection -- wistful, robustly elfin songs set to sweetly wintry electro-folkpop.

It opens with a gentle stream of piano and plaintive strings, as Lykke Li quietly speaks. "Follow these instructions/Do exactly as I do... Love is the harmony/Desire is the key/Love is a symphony/Now play it with me..."

Things pick up with the more "Dance Dance Dance," an adorable little song about expressing your feelings via dancing, and the hard-edged/twinkly piano of "I'm Good I'm Gone" ("Well, say you're not 'cause when I'm gone/You'll be callin' but I won't be at the phone!"). But things start relaxing with the jazzier pop melody of "Let It Fall."

From there, Lykke Li explores some more mellow electro-folkpop, with haunting folk songs tinged with synth, sweetly romantic (and slightly sexy) guitar pop, exquisitely wistful ballads, dark electropop, and a weird experimental number where she spends a long time muttering "can't get that trumpet outta my head!" The album ends on a rather dark note with the stomping ballad "Window Blues ("Don't go all soft on me/don't come across for me/don't lose your selfish ways over me...."

If I had to compare Lykke Li to somebody, I'd say she sounds like Stina Nordenstam, or a more childlike, less innocent El Perro Del Mar. But those are just stylistic similarities, because her pretty pop has a very distinct sound even in her first album. And "Youth Novels" has a feeling of bittersweet, pretty intimacy -- it's sitting with a friend whose heart has just started to heal, and watching the snowflakes flutter down outside the window.

And her music is also very pretty -- we've got a bit of jazz, a bit of indie pop, and a veil of pale, soft electronica laid over it all like a blanket. She even does some experimentation in such songs as "Dance Dance Dance," which is the most mellow, downtempo dance song I've ever heard -- and most of it is just drums and a tapped bell.

The rest of the time, you can hear a delicate web of solid instrumentation -- half-smothered saxophone, a folky acoustic guitar, a xylophone, gentle tinkly piano melodies, kettle drums, and stretches of gentle plaintive strings. Oh yes, and some moments of buzzy dark synthpop, like in the gloriously dark "Complaint Department," and a swirling Spanish guitar that winds through one song.

And then there's the vocals. This girl has a voice of spun glass and sunlit icicles, and regardless of what she sings she sounds incredibly sweet and fragile. Despite some awkward moments ("For you I keep my legs apart" -- what?), her lyrics are also quite sweet -- the absence of love is painful, while its presence brings you shyness, joy and defensiveness. Just look at the one about communicating love through dance.

If you just skimmed through "Youth Novel," you'd think that Lykke Li's debut album was just a stretch of electropop with some folk overtones. But it's something far prettier and more alluring.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catchy, different and fun, 19 Jun 2008
By 
Beefer28 (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Youth Novels (Audio CD)
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The perfect singer/CD for those who appreciate the catchy appeal of the mainstream but are also attracted to the more alternative side of pop music. Lykke Li has such an interesting and enchanting voice and once you listen to her songs a few times the melodies become more and more amazing. I cannot wait for a new album and I can tell I will have a while to wait because this one has only just been released!!! :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The (lost) pop album of the year, 19 May 2008
By 
Mr. S. O'kane "snagii" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Youth Novels (Audio CD)
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I'm finding it difficult slumped here in front of this laptop to commit words to this review because...well, I'm blown away. I'm gushing, really gushing with joy at this debut LP by Lykke Li. This is an utterly gorgeous pop album with not a single weak song on it. The last 'new' album I listened to that riveted me all the way through (because it was a similarily thrilling ride) was 'Kid A'. This had the same - if less confrontational - effect on me as I rode into London on the tube this morning with this blaring through my ears.

So why? Let me try and break it down a bit. Right from the opening track 'Melodies & Desires' there's a big wall of sound that is reminsicent of the production work of the great European chanteuses of the 1960s (think Dusty at her most melodramatic). But yet it isn't a dated retro slush-stringed sound that's being recreated by producer Bjorn Yttlng. With its big beats and occasional electronics ('Complaint Department' is a good example) it's updating that big beaty feel for the 00s. Listen to 'Handing High' with its plucky bass sound and vibraphone, 'Everybody But Me' with its lovely little horn arrangement in the background or 'Dance Dance Dance' that skips along like a France Gall B-side but to a clicking drum machine. The only comparison (which is a tad unfair given they are both Scandanavian) is the intense layered sound of Bjork's many albums. But whereas she spreads her influences far and wide, Lykke prefers to mix old & new in a unique fluffy world of her own. And I haven't even mentioned her voice yet...ahhh...it's so dreamy & cute (oops I'm gushing again..ahem...sorry).

If there's any justice Lykke Li should have every journo and pop fan clamouring at her door for adoration. This is one of the pop albums of the year but it will no doubt be lost in the rush for whatever rubbish American Idol, the X Factor or Timbaland wants to put out. Shame, because many will be missing out on a real, original pop gem of this decade.

Give it a spin, enjoy its lusciousness and spread the words - Lykke Li:Youth Novels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fragile and childlike, 18 May 2008
By 
Mo "mo79uk" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Youth Novels (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Though pop music has long since become boring, recent Scandinavian attempts by the girls have been somewhat refreshing (Annie, Robyn for example) and this one is no less thirst quenching.

Comparisons to Kate Bush are warranted as her songs contain depth in their sparsity and her octaves of choice are in the helium range which can, only occasionally be annoying (I don't like the "lemme go, lemme go" chorus of 'Tonight') but often compliment the airy production and gentle electro and acoustic instrumentation.

Lyrically, there are some interesting points such as 'Everybody But Me''s being her Smiths 'How Soon Is Now?' ("Everybody's drinking/I don't want to.") Elsewhere it also sounds cute the way she says "all" as "ol" or "eyes" sounding perilously close to "as*".

Musically, this is nothing too new but it's nothing you'll hear from Girls Aloud, this is from the heart and not for the bank. But there's a couple of songs meant to nestle in the chart like the contemporary Kylie-ish 'I'm Good, I'm Gone' the Nina Persson echoing 'Little Bit' and Lykke's initial catalyst 80's Madge is evident on 'Breaking It Up'.

The mood is a mix between happy and reflective and is an ideal listen to during a headache (my second listen!). Though well done, I think Lykke's capable of a bit better to shine more brightly, but she's still a young girl and this is her debut.
I'm not sure how often this disc will get spun by me but I'm sure it won't be left collecting dust on my shelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How Refreshing !, 20 May 2008
By 
A. Rose (Devon & Menorca) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Youth Novels (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sung with a beautifully clear if slightly breathy young voice, each of these songs is pleasant, melodious and some are quite poetic. The music is mostly easy listening indie / pop which has so many influences and after reading the product & artist description above I see why there are so many influences. On first playing the CD I thought of Bjork and Madonna, but Madonna on her softer ballads rather than dance/pop, but I couldn't quite grasp who her voice sounded like - a little bit like Katie Melua, a bit like Alex Parks (BBC Fame Academy winner) and even bit of Nelly Furtado in there, and then it hit me - she has the voice of Cerys Matthews of Catatonia. There is nothing to dislike about the album and I'm sure it's one that would grow on you. This is a CD that I'm looking forward to playing many times and enjoy becoming accustomed to.

What a shame her name is Lykke Li - so like Leapy Lee who is still alive, well and gigging in Majorca !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Youth Novels should be in everyone's collection, 11 May 2009
By 
Paul Mynard (Folkestone, Kent United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Youth Novels (Audio CD)
I heard this on BBC's coverage of Glastonbury last year when she did a session for Jo Whiley. Absolutely stunning album, she has a great voice and soulful melodies combining with fab lyrics. This album is a must for anyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, Breezy Pop, 30 July 2008
This review is from: Youth Novels (Audio CD)
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I'd never heard of Lykke Li before, but I'm sure we'll all be hearing a lot more of her after word gets around about her debut album. Youth Novels is a cracker, full of bright and breezy pop songs, cleverly crafted and with a solid emphasis on intelligent and engaging lyrics. Its a great record and we'll expect even greater things from Miss Li in the future...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Swedish Indie Pop, 17 May 2008
By 
James B. Spink "Jim" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Youth Novels (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Swedish indie pop artist Lykke Li Zachrisson , better known to us as just plain old Lykke Li, has now recorded a full length album as a follow up to her debut three track EP, Little Bit, which was released last year. Like the earlier release this is on her own LL label and was produced by Bjorn Yttling (of Peter, Bjorn & John) who also co-wrote these tracks with her. This album, Youth Novels, was recorded in New York.

Some people may also remember Lykke Li from the songs she made for her MySpace profile a few years ago; ethereal, but sensual, vocals against a slightly bass heavy sound, again courtesy of Bjorn. These songs proved very popular in Sweden and also around the world by those who were lucky enough to discover them.

This current set has 14 tracks and runs for a little over 50 minutes, it flows well as an album and Bjorn's production work holds the whole thing together well. There are echoes of Goldfrapp here and there, and a hint of Kate Nash in some of Lykke's vocals, but otherwise the album has it's own distinctive and varied feel. A couple of tracks are strong enough to be successful singles, and a slightly edited version of "Tonight" could well be a big summer hit - great hook - if it gets the exposure.

For me, however, Lykke's voice, although very good, isn't great and by the end of the album started to sound slightly unexciting. It's interesting enough for a few tracks, and distinctive enough to be easily recognisable on the radio, useful for the singles market. It can sometimes be difficult for European acts to get exposure to the UK market, and how much promotion this album gets could determine it's success or failure here. I'm sure this album will do very well in her native Sweden however, and will prove to be very popular with her international fan base who I'm sure have been eagerly awaiting this release for months.
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Youth Novels
Youth Novels by Lykke Li (Audio CD - 2008)
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