Wounded Rhymes - Lykke Li
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Nov 3, 2011
    67
    Wounded Rhymes functions as a young woman's bildungsroman, neatly capturing the tension between youth and adulthood that defines one's 20s.
  2. The meaning's in the music, which to her considerable benefit shares the widespread Stockholm suspicion that the distinction between pop and dance music isn't worth troubling yourself over, but is nonetheless pinned for appearance's sake to the shades of yearning that mark it verbally.
  3. 80
    I think it would be safe to say that while her latest release was noticed with excited anticipation, not many expected it to be quite this good.
  4. Mar 31, 2011
    80
    Sonically it's a super-charged take on the girl-group sound, with thundering drums, multilayered vocals, heart-wrenching lyrics and loads of echo-all of which contrasts with her honeyed voice.
  5. Mar 29, 2011
    88
    Her producer and co-songwriter Bjorn Yttling (of the Swedish rock band Peter, Bjorn and John) keeps things from sounding like mere revivalism.
  6. Mar 14, 2011
    60
    The result is never maudlin, but big, bouncy and entertaining.
  7. Mar 14, 2011
    80
    The sonically arresting album, which couches Li's girl-group aspirations in a sheen of industrial grime, creates tension when the lyrics call for it.
  8. Mar 11, 2011
    70
    Wounded Rhymes, her follow-up on the same label, has thumping drums, Farfisa organs, girl-group vocal harmonies and darkly pealing guitars. It also has songs of desolate stoicism and disconsolate fury.
  9. Mar 7, 2011
    70
    Broken hearts litter pop music of course, but the way this 24-year-old almost welcomes desolation into her life is nothing if not fascinating.
  10. It's rare that an artist finds a voice in the unsaid. You could call her loss our gain.
  11. Mar 4, 2011
    40
    While the minimal production and closely miked vocals on her debut emphasized the pop hooks and her fragile voice, Li and producer Bjorn Yttling (Peter, Bjorn & John) give listeners a more all-encompassing, if familiar, sound on Wounded Rhymes, nestling her vocals amidst girl-group harmonies, psych organ and shambolic percussion.
  12. Mar 4, 2011
    76
    Wounded Rhymes' moments of true daring are few, but it's the first indication that Li's turning a critical eye on her own style-and that she's got a knack for reinvention.
  13. Mar 3, 2011
    83
    Like Joss Whedon's show, Wounded Rhymes is an album of stark, scintillating contrasts: between fantasy and reality, between the powerful and the vulnerable, between the brash and the quiet, between the rhythmic and the melodic.
  14. Mar 1, 2011
    90
    Lykke Li holds to her regal aesthetic and simple drum and bass lines doggedly; whether stripped down or ramped up she has a well crafted, appealingly consistent sound, and it's what she puts over this that completes it.
  15. 80
    Wounded Rhymes offers a less atmospheric soundscape with more percussion alongside organs and frequent layered harmonies.
  16. Mar 1, 2011
    78
    Tribal sounds loom large, kettle drums popping holes in the mix over deadpan synths and cozy blankets of noise.
  17. Mar 1, 2011
    83
    At her core, this new snarling, burned Lykke Li is unfamiliar, perhaps even to herself, but it's to our benefit. We get to meet her all over again.
  18. 88
    She's a mediocre singer with a very interesting voice, a fan of classic handmade pop and the ways laptops can serrate it, and a writer obsessed with sex and with sexing up obsession.
  19. Mar 1, 2011
    80
    Despite that plethora of knowing musical allusions, this is by no means a stale, cut-and-dried retro affair.
  20. Mar 1, 2011
    80
    Li's new album, Wounded Rhymes, is equal parts seething ice princess and lonely snowwoman, vacillating almost track by track between fury and despondence over a scotched relationship.
  21. Mar 1, 2011
    80
    An outstanding album which improves upon the Swedish singer's great debut.
  22. Mar 1, 2011
    80
    There's an earnestness and weight to the album that simultaneously gives it its focus, but also makes the listener yearn for some light amidst the bleak post-breakup laments.
  23. Mar 1, 2011
    60
    Wounded Rhymes is an album that has not escaped unscathed from its wounds.
  24. Mar 1, 2011
    90
    Wounded Rhymes has her belting her heart out over Yttling's maximalist arrangements to thrilling effect.
  25. Mar 1, 2011
    80
    Lykke Li is a different kind of Swedish wunderkind: an ingenious oddball.
  26. Mar 1, 2011
    80
    This is soul music, sometimes in form, but always in content; mournful and inspirational in equal measure, Wounded Rhymes more than earns that categorization.
  27. Feb 28, 2011
    90
    Wounded Rhymes is filled with gorgeously spiteful moments such as these, adding an obstinate wrinkle to the album's already-rich, shadowy mystique.
  28. 70
    The simple fact she's intent on change makes her and the rest of her career infinitely more intriguing.
  29. Feb 28, 2011
    80
    Lykke Li seems to have made it work for her.
  30. 100
    While her 2008 breakout, Youth Novels, was quirky and coy, Wounded Rhymes is hungry, dark, dirty.
  31. May 2, 2011
    80
    Wounded Rhymes is the moment Lykke Liu has edged ahead of the pack. And she still understands the value of a mighty percussive wallop. [Apr 2011, p.100]
  32. Apr 6, 2011
    80
    Swedish chanteuse returns with guns blazing. [March 2011, p. 96]
  33. Mar 29, 2011
    80
    Her quirky homespun arrangements have been toughened and broadened, adding a knowingly retro girl-group stomp and echo-drenched Spector-ish grandeur to windswept heartbreak anthems. [Apr 2011, p.85]
  34. Mar 9, 2011
    60
    The problem comes when Lykke Li steps out of her range musically. [Feb. 2011, p. 65]
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Mar 1, 2011
    10
    Lykke Li is big and bold, soft and subdued, dancy and sleepy, all within one record. Itâ
  2. Apr 11, 2011
    10
    Since "Markovian" already wrote everything there is to be written I'll just make this short. It's a great album, filled with stunning drumbeats, rhythms and so much more. When I first heard this album I thought: "Could this be true, is it so fu***** awesome?" If You think that there's no reason in spending money on this album, well think again. I say bull*** to all those who think that this album sucks. Listen it again and explore the harmonies surrounding this Masterpiece. Full Review »
  3. Jan 12, 2012
    10
    It's a cohesive album, emotional within, but the real point is Lykke's unique voice. It has nasal forms, vibratos, powerfull spelling, we can feel what she is saying, what she lived and it is the key to this CD. Her efforts to make something about herself were accomplished, and her voice is just comparable to Bjork's. Extraordinary. Full Review »