Top critical review
on 20 May 2008
My first thoughts were all Icelandic, along the lines of Bjork and Emiliana Torrini, but Lykke Li is not that like them upon repeat listening.
Certainly the 'little girl'-esque vocals put one in mind of Torrini, as does the slightly other-worldly diction, but ultimately, I found the lack of enunciation off-putting rather than charming.
The stripped-down production does work - we have some instruments dripping in reverb, others very bare - making for a fairly unique sonic palette. But again, I found it a bit grating by the end of a few listens. I welcomed occasional different voices like the trumpet and saxophone and choir-ish vocals with wide arms, as they appear from within a vacuum of the sound-world that has been created.
It's all about the percussion and the vocals on this album - bass notes and organs are used as percussively as the actual drums and percussion - and this does drive the whole thing along, but to where? Ultimately, the texture of the album smothers rather than seduces, and I cannot help but wonder what a different producer may have done with the material...
It's interesting, for sure, but produces interest rather than passion.
Having said all that, approach with an open mind, rather than caution.