Lykke Li’s I Never Learn features the saddest breakup songs you’ll ever hear on one album.

lykke li

Lykke Li has come a long way from the cute, pop notes of her first album, Youth Novels. Her newest release, I Never Learn, sounds nothing like its two forerunners, though it concludes a trilogy based on similar themes.

The album as a whole is hopeless and dismal—emotionally speaking, of course (the girl is talented). Li wrote the album after a painful breakup, which yielded a piece of work so pain-stricken and raw, you’d think this album is her most depressing inspiring one yet. Pro tip: keep tissues handy when you hit play.

Arguably an upgrade on your average Taylor Swift breakup ballad(s), this album tells its story in a series of sad but powerful tracks. In addition to the woes of a post-breakup misery, Li touches on the pain of being a woman. In an interview with NME Li says, “I always feel like I’ve been slightly misunderstood. As a woman you get judged for appearances or things like that I don’t really care about. If anything I want to be seen as a singer-songwriter rather than a pop artist. I really feel like I’ve found my voice.”

Li has said that she was inspired by the sounds of Bob Dylan and Bob Marley in her time of heartbreak. Although the breakup was clearly devastating, Li finds her silver lining (and most likely catharsis) in I Never Learn. If you’re wondering why “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone” has such a raw sound, it’s because Li recorded it on a tape recorder when she first wrote it. She opted to keep the original version in her album instead of recording in the studio, a move that resulted in a tragically beautiful work of art.

You won’t find anything like her upbeat and sensual “Get Some” from her second album, Wounded Rhymes. Instead, her album is filled with somber tunes such as “Love me Like I’m not Made of Stone” and “Sleeping Alone.” If you’re looking for something a little more upbeat, with the same feel as “I follow Rivers,” give “Gunshot” a listen, and the standout song of the album “No Rest For The Wicked.” The album’s version does not feature the A$AP Rocky remix as a bonus track, which was released as a single. Just like “I Follow Rivers,” “No Rest for the Wicked” is bound to be stuck in your head for days. Another must listen is the title song “I Never Learn,” which features a cool instrumental section towards the end that makes it a great opener to the album.

Lykke Li’s No Rest for the Wicked

Li is extremely hard on herself, carrying the burden of breakup blame  in songs like “Never Gonna Love Again” and “Heart of Steel.” Guilt is certainly a reoccurring theme throughout the album, too. Li’s journey of heartbreak is one that speaks to anyone who’s endured a heartbreak, and we all love a reason to indulge in a little tear session. Reminiscent of Adele’s 21, Li’s lyrics share her thoughts as if we were reading her diary. The Swedish songwriter has everyone wondering where her career’s headed next and praying to the gods of sound that she stays on the music scene.

[images sourced via: Warnermusic and wikipedia]