Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
Swedish indie pop singer Lykke Li charmed the world with 2008 debut Youth Novels, a collection of songs that were sweet, demure, but by no means naïve. Three years later, Li has really found herself with Wounded Rhymes. A diary of jaded youth, female sexual empowerment and the harsh realities of young love and heartbreak, the songs pulsate with passionate tribal beats and ominous synthetic sounds. In sexually-charged single "Get Some" she sings, "I'm your prostitute, you gonna get some," but the song is by no means an ode to man-pleasing: it's all about harnessing and embracing the power of her feminine sexuality. The album's points of confidence and strength are counterweighted by pure articulations of vulnerability; from the cataclysmic crescendos of tortured love letter "Jerome" to the anguished crooning and throbbing war horns of "Silent My Song," Li achieves a perfect manifestation of devastating heartbreak. Beyond the album's dark instrumentation and emotional careening, Wounded Rhymes also proves a stylistic evolution for Li in the brazen display of her vocal capabilities, which, it is now clear, were well-restrained for her debut. The melodrama of these songs demand powerful vocal execution, and she does not fall short in this respect. And melodramatic this album most certainly is, but all in good faith: not once does Li take her impassioned expression further than is warranted by insatiable desire and ravaging heartbreak.
FeaturesAug 21, 2015
Fred PennerAll My Children
It's been a good while since Fred Penner was on television, but these days, he's having a bit of a moment. He plays festivals regularly; he'...
FeaturesAug 20, 2015
The Exclaim! QuestionnaireCarly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen could have been a one-hit wonder. When the British Columbian singer/songwriter released a single titled "Call Me Maybe" ...
FeaturesAug 19, 2015
Coeur de pirateMap of the Heart
"All my fears and anxieties and all that crap that humans go through — I didn't face them because I was so busy putting my energy into...
NewsAug 19, 2015
Destroyer Explains the Diverse Sound of 'Poison Season'
Dan Bejar has been releasing music as Destroyer since the '90s, but his career hit a new high with 2011's Kaputt. That stunning album catapu...
NewsAug 18, 2015
Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About the Libertines
Propelled by the electrically charged creative partnership between Peter Doherty and Carl Barât, the Libertines may have only released two s...
NewsAug 17, 2015
Beach House's Song Remains the Same, and They're Pleased
Since they formed 10 years ago, Baltimore's Beach House — Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand — have carved out a simple yet signat...
NewsAug 14, 2015
Rocketship Talk 'A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness' Reissue, New Album
In the annals of 1990s indie pop, Sacramento, CA's Rocketship weren't the most prolific act, but what they did produce has remained timeless...
NewsAug 13, 2015
Coeur de pirate Explores the Tumult That Led to 'Roses'
"I went through things that I never talked about on my other two records." That's all about to change. Béatrice Martin, who records as C...