I Never Learn
Although her first two studio albums had moments of girl-group sass, Swedish-born singer/songwriter Lykke Li has always been most powerful when the tempos come down. 2010’s Wounded Rhymes featured a mascara-stained ‘60s-influenced charmer called “Sadness is a Blessing”; Li’s third album, I Never Learn, hones this gift for wallowing with a collection of miserablist dream pop. Stacked with Wall of Sound strings, lean songwriting, and confessional drama, Li’s doleful highlights (“No Rest for the Wicked,” “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone,” “Never Gonna Love Again”) are carefully constructed ballads that float along in a melancholy, reverb-washed haze. When she fades out with the mournful “Sleeping Alone,” I Never Learn emerges as a powerful artistic achievement, every bit as lonely as it is lovely.