Friday, April 11, 2008

Youth Novels

It’s hard not to fall for Lykke Li and her dazzling debut CD, Youth Novels. Forget the fact she’s young, blond and Swedish, but her music combines Bjork’s otherworldly pixie charm with Peter Bjorn and John’s precise pop smarts (PB&J’s Bjorn Yttling co-produced Youth Novels). So it’s Bjork meets Bjorn, and the results are often spectacular.
     “Little Bit,” “I’m Good, I’m Gone,” and the aching “Time Flies” are beyond good — they’re three of the best songs I’ve heard this year. (The album doesn’t even include “Tonight” [as heard on JeffMix2008.02.29], a song that had even my most hardened friends asking, ‘Who’s this?’). I haven’t been so walloped by sheer talent since I first heard Kanye West’s debut, The College Dropout, which included the chart-topping trio of “All Falls Down,” “Through the Wire,” and “Jesus Walks.”
     But Lykke Li is not in Mr. West’s league yet. You’ll want to skip past a few tracks, including the highly indulgent “This Trumpet In My Head” and the Julee Cruise-ish snoozer “Hanging High.” Beyond those, however, there are some truly magical moments here. Embrace it now. A-
Lykke Li:
Little Bit (mp3)
Lykke Li: Time Flies (mp3)

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