09 February 2009


Lykke Li at the Metro, Chicago, IL (February 7, 2009)

It's a little hard for me to believe how quickly Lykke Li blew up, but maybe I just like to think that I can keep all the music I like to myself. I know that even with her roots singing on the streets in Södermalm with her toy piano, Lykke Li was always going to be a pop star. It’s just that now I just start to wonder if what I once saw as precious, well-produced, intelligent pop is meant to go the way of iPod commercials.

Lykke Li once felt intimate to me—the slight dirtiness of “Little Bit,” the heart wrenching power of “Tonight”—but I guess that is always how pop music is supposed to feel. I just can’t shake the feeling that I've been duped somehow. Maybe I am responding to the absolute pleasure seeing her open for El Perro Del Mar at Schuba’s last spring brought me, a show that no sold-out Metro show could ever live up to. Or maybe I am just being selfish. But maybe I've let my love of all things Swedish cloud my judgment…

That’s not to say there was anything disappointing about the show: she delivered in all ways expected of her. She danced, looked cute, and got us to dance sometimes by playing her hits like “Little Bit” and “I’m Good, I’m Gone” and even an extra klub version of “Complaint Department.” Then there were some incongruous moments: a cover of the Kings of Leon? I didn’t even know they were still making music. Her attempts at straddling a line closer to American R&B were hinted at throughout the night, but it became almost transparent in (an admittedly well-done) cover of A Tribe Called Quest's "Can I Kick It?” And it was all well and good until Lykke Li started getting a little pissed off with the photographers in the front row, interjecting, "Why you gotta photo all the time?" into the song. At this point, Lykke Li threw the microphone across the stage and walked out.

I can’t say there’s anything precious about that.

I think maybe she just needs to start wearing that cute bun again.


Lykke Li - "Tonight" (live acoustic take)
via This Difficulty

No comments: