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.
FeaturesJul 29, 2015
Titus AndronicusAmbition In Five Acts
Since Patrick Stickles rose up with fists held high in July 2005 as frontman for Titus Andronicus, he and the band have done nothing half-as...
StreamsJul 22, 2015
The Lonely Parade"Girl" on Exclaim! TV
Augusta Veno, Charlotte Dempsey and Anwyn Climenhage are the Lonely Parade, a punk-y indie rock trio from Peterborough, ON. Their debut albu...
StreamsJul 21, 2015
Elliot Maginot"Monsters at War" on Exclaim! TV
After spending his teen years playing in skate-punk garage bands, Montreal musician Elliot Maginot's debut LP might come as a surprise. Insp...
FeaturesJul 21, 2015
Conor OberstFolk In Many Guises
Conor Oberst is many things to many people. Emo wunderkind, folk troubadour, rock'n'roll saviour — he's been called it all. Yet for so...
NewsJul 21, 2015
Titus Andronicus Dissect the Epic, Emotional 'Most Lamentable Tragedy'
"By the way, all my tears are on the record," Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles tells Exclaim! over the phone from his NYC home. "T...
ReviewsJul 20, 2015
Hundred WatersBass Camp Stage, Pemberton BC, July 19
Falling right into the beautifully crafted "Out Alee," Hundred Waters graced the Bass Camp Stage on the last day of Pemberton (July 19). Cup...
StreamsJul 17, 2015
The Muscadettes"Growing Pains" on Exclaim! TV
Twin sisters Chantal and Kathleen Ambridge are the Muscadettes, a band whose sun-drenched, reverb-laden sound reflects an upbringing on '60s...
NewsJul 17, 2015
Left and Leaving: An Essential Weakerthans Playlist
Earlier this week, beloved Winnipeg indie rockers the Weakerthans broke the hearts of Canadian music fans everywhere when drummer Jason Tait...