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Lykke Li Remains Gloriously Tragic On So Sad, So Sexy

Lykke Li Remains Gloriously Tragic On So Sad, So Sexy
08 Jun
2:00

There are a lot more credits on this album than on previous Li records, and perhaps that’s the influence of Bhasker, who serves as producer and writer on several tracks. Li’s work doesn’t suffer from more collaborations, especially since she has clearly hand-picked people who complement her, including production and co-writing by Malay (Frank Ocean) and Rostam (Vampire Weekend). Their individual production styles meld into her long-chronicled interest in hip hop, but she maintains the tricks and quirks unique to her: a particular tri-tom beat “hard rain,” a downward cascading melody on “deep end,” and oddly paced vocal arrangements across all the tracks. She gets furthest from her usual style on “jaguars in the air,” which starts with the strum of a guitar but by the end owes more to trap music. She stays out there with “sex money feelings die,” the musical equivalent of a Goddard film in its torturousness. “bad woman” and “two nights” sit at opposite ends of the breakup spectrum, while “better alone” might become the go-to anthem for that moment when you realize you’re adulting in a relationship.

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