Lykke Li, 'Youth Novels' (LL)

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Youth Novels
Critical Mass
Label: LL

by Joe Gross

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. Again and again, the approach proves bulletproof: Her voice is mousy, the low end juicy, the melodies sketchy, the choruses huge. And the joyous high of "Breaking It Up" points to a musically fleshier future. She should lose the spoken-word bits, though; they don't even work for her goddess Madonna.

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