Youth Novels


Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Youth Novels, one-ups the competition by being sillier, funkier, and less comfortable--more “Konichiwa Bitches” than Keren Ann.
  2. Filter
    A Nordic slice of pop heaven that ranges from electro-Calypso bizarrity to hand clap-driven electro anthems about "Breaking It Up." [Summer 2008, p.102]
  3. Youth Novels is a twinkle-toed debut that dares to suggest what others can only make tediously plain, and leaves us in the rarely-enjoyed position of actually wanting more.
  4. The lyrics lack focus at times but this is a winning debut.
  5. Still only 22 (!), Lykke Li has constructed one of 2008's most ambitiously grandiose statements. Madonna can shuffle off to her Live Nation millions, a new pop saviour has been found.
  6. Q Magazine
    They're all set to limber pop that draws on the more understated aspects of both indie rock and dance, with Li's one-off personality a delight throughout. [July 2008, p.107]
  7. Charming debut from flirtatious Scandinavian popette.
  8. Blender
    It's Li's confidence to stray that gives this album its depth. [Sep 2008, p.82]
  9. With a tiny voice, minimalist arrangements and simple lyrics, this Swedish songwriter has crafted what seems like a magical album, where all its small elements coalesce into something quite big.
  10. Both youthful and novel--Li was twenty-one upon its release, which may explain both her occasional goofy vocal affectations and the hesitant freshness of her sound--it's hard to pigeonhole but refreshingly easy to enjoy.
  11. By paying attention to detail, Yttling and Li's prove that doesn't have to be [an impossible task]. But even more impressive is the way their intimate, playful miniatures capture the daring and novelty of modern pop, as well as its hooks.
  12. Li adeptly straddles the line between instant gratification and minimalist smarts.
  13. As things stand, a lot of people are going to fall in love with this new young talent, and her ambitious and creative debut. But Lykke Li is likely to stay a cult curiosity for now.
  14. Classy, fun, sensual, and more grown-up than you’d expect, it’s the kind of confident debut that puts the Kate Nashes of the world to shame.
  15. 70
    Lykke Li manages to combine Feist’s beautiful crooning with Robyn’s playful spunk in her own impressively unique way.
  16. Overall, Li manages not to get swept away by Yttling and Mårtén's resourceful accompaniments....Her bashfulness is, in fact, an asset.
  17. Under The Radar
    That Youth Novels alternates sentiments and styles track to track without seeming indulgent or directioness is impressive for someone who wrote her first full song only four years ago. [Summer 2008, p.83]
  18. 70
    The endlessly quotable single 'Little Bit'--"For you I keep my legs apart / And forget about my tainted heart," the singer coos over spare electro clatter--is already a viral smash, but much of Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson's debut is nearly as riveting.
  19. These songs aren’t necessarily greater than the pop tunes around them, but they are different, more singular and more interesting.
  20. Youth Novels serves as an entertaining, but ultimately inadequate introduction to Lykke Li.
  21. Even if a few experiments fall flat, on the rest of Youth Novels Li is as witty and self-possessed, even if most of her songs brutally document her emotional masochism.
  22. The singer's frosty squeak is a limited instrument, but she works it, mixing adorable playground scats with spoken-word whispers and parched coos that barely sketch her sugary melodies.
  23. 70
    For all the inventive whimsy of the arrangements, however, there’s no mistaking the slight lyrical content.
  24. She's that kind of singer: cutesy, coy, with a voice as sweet as golden syrup.
  25. Uncut
    Youth Novels attampts to repeat the trick [the single 'Little Bit'] 13 more times, with varying degrees of sucess. [July 2008, p.103]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Mar 27, 2011
    Lykke Liâ
  2. Aug 11, 2014
    As childish as it appears to be, this work explodes sensitivity and vulnerability, while showing great diversity and personality at its own. AAs childish as it appears to be, this work explodes sensitivity and vulnerability, while showing great diversity and personality at its own. A fantastic debut that leaves clear what Lykke Li's true and most profound intentions are: start, and stay. Full Review »
  3. oscarL.
    Oct 8, 2008
    Her voice is so sweet it makes your spine tingle. Her beats are original yet unique for a "pop" artist. watch this space.