I Never Learn
Atlantic Records. Released May 5th.
No one does heartache quite like Lykke Li, 2012's Wounded Rhymes was a stunning record of lament and lost love, seemingly Lykke's fortune has changed little over the past two years with her third record I Never Learn, an equally burned and mournful affair, again however, the results bedazzle.
The smoldering title track lets you into Lykke's misty world of hurt and fresh wounds again, reverb-cloaked vocals and confessional, direct songwriting lets the listener immediately know the state of play before launching into a luxurious string led beauty. As ambitious as we've heard from Lykke Li, it's also one of my favourite album openers of the year.
"No Rest For The Wicked" builds with heartache and slow-burn beauty as spacious,cavernous drums take centre stage ahead of the track's piano chords, emitting melancholy and emotion as the lyrics "Lonely I, I'm so alone now" ring deep and similarly "Just Like A Dream" continues the wonderful melody lines and mystical romanticised ballads, I hope you've got tissues.
"Love Me Like I'm Not Made Of Stone"could be a sister song to "I Know Places", a beautifully taut piano led confessional ballad with languid, haunting acoustic echoes the sole accompaniment for Lykke's devastating delivery, you can tangibly feel her emotion throughout. "Gunshot" takes all the pain and turns on them with a moment of big, bold anger building to to dramatic power-ballad choruses and the repeated cries of "never get you back".
It's all an h'ors derve for "Never Gonna Love Again" though, the albums true highlight and torchlight moment, an 80's power pop moment brimmed with nostalgia and huge choruses, it's the most accessible track on the record and one that begs to be heard over and over again.
Lykke Li has stated I Never Learn has finished a trilogy of albums, I hope that doesn't mean it's the last we hear of her as a musician, for once again, she has highlighted just what a master she is of melody and emotion.