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14. LLLL (=Live, Love, Learn, Laugh)
on 5 May 2014
Lykke Li's new album is the final part of a trilogy. If her debut, "Youth novels", was the part of flirtation, and its follow-up, "Wounded rhymes", was the part of obsession, then "I never learn", is the part of mourning. This set proves that Lykke Li is positively maturing as an artist, as she has not lost her knack for penning great melodies and lyrics. All of these 9 tracks are ballads, yet, each has something different to recommend: acousting guitars, gorgeous strings, towering drums, gospel choirs. It is a relatively short album by modern standards - just 33 minutes long - beautifully conveying heartache, loss and desolation. That brevity works in its favour, easily someone could argue that the failures of love and self pity could be tiresome across a whole album. So, if, by the time final track "Sleeping alone" comes to a close, you feel like reaching for the play button once again, do not be surprised!
Apparently, "I never learn" is meant to be the album that will turn Lykke Li from Swedish cult artist to international pop star, despite her protestations that she's really a singer-songwriter. She was firm recently in asserting her desire to be viewed as a singer-songwriter as opposed to a pop artist. This is probably a genuine concern from a real artist, surely not many can doubt the fact that Lykke Li is an astounding musician. (Can I just point out, her uncanny resemblance to Lady GaGa on the album cover?). Unlike most third instalments that are usually disappointing, "I never learn" is anything but, it is an album with no flaws or imperfections, full of truth and beauty. Perhaps some sort of joy against which to measure the pain could be employed. Still, just like with love itself, noone can ever be sure about what to expect when falling in love. For some, it's a blessing; for others, it's a curse.