Taking on a new tune
In her fourth studio album, so sad so sexy, Lykke Li takes a leap of faith into the unknown. The Swedish artist who has made a huge splash in the indie-pop/electronica genre has stepped out of her comfort zone to try something a little more radio friendly. Though her fans might not understand the change in rhythm, Lykke Li has made it clear that relationships and heartbreak go hand and hand in her book. Approaching this round of heartache with a lighter sense of self, Lykke Li reinvents herself into a synth-pop goddess. The uncharted territory is successfully managed and thoughtfully responded to.
so sad so sexy opens with “hard rain,” which could be considered the album’s strongest track. With vocal help from former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij, the song combines percussion and soft synths into a melody of pure radio gold. “deep end” is a blank canvas for Li to let loose and show the world what she is capable of. The song becomes a fearless cry for something new.
“better alone” proves to be a standout track as well with Li’s use of extremely transparent and brutally honest lyrics that lead to the heart of this heartbreak record. Tracks like “sex money feelings die” and “last piece” become a bit too heavy-handed on the beats that the lyrics start to fade. “utopia,” the final track of the album, combines all the old aspects that we love of Li and her new takes on electronic beats. Although a bit quiet compared to other tracks, with the simplicity of harmonizing vocals and a keyboard, this track and others remind fans this is the same Li as before.
Her vulnerability, though shadowed by trap-like beats at points, is heard and swallowed up by the listener’s ears. Li’s ability to make you feel, even if you haven’t been in her shoes before, is uncanny. She took her golden opportunity to reinvent herself in ways and did it well. All in all, the 32-year-old singer-songwriter has her fans right where she wants them and is going to continue changing the game.