Lykke Li Review: I Never Learn

Lykke Li

I Never Learn

Lykke Li I Never Learn album cover art

Few artists hypnotize like Swedish pop singer Lykke Li (pronounced Licky Lee). Her sultry, percussive pop songs on her first two albums, Youth Novels and Wounded Rhymes, work their way deep into your head and eventually into your heart. Thanks to the help of constant collaborator Björn Yttling (of Peter Bjorn and John), the echoey and unconventional production on Lykke Li’s records keeps you coming back for more. On her third album, I Never Learn, Lykke Li makes something very different but equally mesmerizing: nine simple but profound power ballads.
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LxListening: Under the Covers

Woman, under covers

On “Codeine“, Jason Isbell sings “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, its this bar and this cover band”.  I’m not sure which he hates more; the bar or the cover band.  But in the right situation I love both of these things, and find reason to disagree with Mr. Isbell.  So, for today’s installment of LxListening I have decided to pick out 5 recent covers that deserve a little recognition.

What makes a good cover you ask me?  In my opinion, a good cover doesn’t try to reenact or mimic the original song, instead trying to take a new musical angle.  This can be anything from completely changing the arrangement, to changing the style of the music, to changing the pace.  Sometimes, a cover may be so ironic (as you’ll see below) because of who is singing it that it deserves a little attention.  Either way, check out a few of these gems below and decide for yourself whether you think there is any added value to these cover songs.  Enjoy.
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Florence + the Machine Review: Am I a Machinehead?

Florence + the Machine

Ceremonials

I would never classify Lungs, Florence Welch’s highly successful debut album, as lighter fare for the standard music listener.  But when paired against Ceremonials, Welch’s debut album sounds like The Beach Boys, when they exclusively sang about cruising for chicks on the beach in fast cars.  In other words, Ceremonials is one of the most unexpectedly heavy albums of the year.  It’s not so much that the lyrics are filled with weighty emotion, but more that the album sounds like it was recorded in a medieval cathedral buried 1000 feet beneath the earth.  The single strike of a piano key seems to echo indefinitely, while organs echo from track to track and the harp for the first time manages to sound foreboding.
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