StubHub's Next Stage Featuring Lykke Li Benefiting The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation

Lykke Li’s power-ballad-heavy I Never Learn is a divisive album. It won her a lot of new fans but also alienated some of those who fell in love with her as more of an indie-pop singer circa 2008 debut album Youth Novels. She’s changed a lot stylistically, and that seems very intentional. Li told The Daily Telegraph, “I cannot stand my first album. It is so bad. I sucked.” She also compared her music career to a heroin addiction:

It is the only thing that feeds my soul. If I wasn’t doing this I’d probably be dead. Some people do heroin, I have my music… It is the most beautiful gift of all. Everything that people criticise when you’re a child – “you’re so sensitive, you’re so complicated” – is a great gift as an artist. All of a sudden you find yourself in this world with other artists where you’re accepted, and that’s all we ever want: to be accepted.

Read the full story here.

[Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images.]

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Comments (14)
  1. c’mon.

  2. Auto  |   Posted on Jul 9th +2

    She did a great version of ‘Dance Dance Dance’ at Glasto and a few other Youth Novels tracks; but she power balladed them up a bit so they felt in line with her newer material. It was fucking spectacular to hear some extra verve in those songs; by comparison they felt a lot more passionate than the plinkey plonkey album versions. Don’t get me wrong, I love Youth Novels, but having seen it’s songs translated into her current style I can totally feel where Lykke is coming from here.

  3. I’m with her on this one. She’s grown so much since that first album. I Never Learn (The year’s most underrated album, IMO) is such a full, enormous statement; When I first heard Youth Novels, I never thought she’d be able to approach that level emotion.

    • Anything on I Never Learn is flawlessly emotional and replayable than “Tonight”.

      • Nothing*

        • BOOM!!! You nailed it. Recently went through a trying divorce. The bare simplicity of Tonight brought me to tears more than once. It’s always amazing when something so simple can be so moving without be trite or pandering.

          Lykke Li is as popular as Lady GaGa in an alternate universe. The universe where actual beauty and art are celebrated. And the Madonna playbook was banned.

      • “Tonight” is pretty good, but I still think Lykke Li sounds a lot better on her newer, bigger production. She certainly sounds more matured, and I think that brings out the emotion a little bit. But, to each their own.

  4. While I really like “Youth Novels”, and have ever since it came out, I can totally understand why she as an artist finds it cringey now. It does sound like an album written by a teenager, albeit a very talented teenager, and her sound has changed an awful lot. I kind of expect to hear this same thing from Lorde, two more albums from now, about how she can’t stand Pure Heroine anymore.

  5. Philip Cosores  |   Posted on Jul 9th +4

    Lorde is no Lykke. Not even close.

    • Not in the same league. You are correct, sir

    • That’s nice. I see in your attempt to either run to Lykke Li’s defense or make a statement against Lorde, or perhaps both (I’m not sure where your mindset is) you’ve totally missed my point, which was just that they’ve both made albums as teenagers that sound like they were written by teenagers (because they were). Radiohead also falls into this category (“Pablo Honey” is their “Youth Novels”/”Pure Heroine”, but I digress). At no point did I try to convince anyone that Lorde is more talented than Lykke Li (and I wouldn’t, that would be ignorant; they’re two totally different artists at very different stages int heir respective careers, from different generations, with distinctly different aesthetics), so I’m not exactly sure from where you gleaned that, or why you felt it so necessary to imply that what I was getting at was “Lorde > Lykke Li”. So, just throwing that out there.

      • I had to laugh at that ridiculous response to your post, Brad. Reading comprehension at its most opaque, I suppose – only seeing what you want to see. Anyway, I agree with your opinion wholeheartedly. After being with an artist for 23 years and being submerged in that community, it’s a rare instance when an artist – be they a painter, musician, poet, etc. – will look back at their prior work with even the barest hint of positivity. It’s in their nature to constantly forage ahead and evolve, and only the very successful ones who have sold out or become complacent continue to recycle their works.

  6. jloo  |   Posted on Jul 10th +1

    I’m having trouble telling how I feel if she hates “Dance, Dance, Dance.” D:

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