Before I listened to this album, I'd heard about three Lykke Li songs. Those tracks were all catchy and fantastic with great melodies, so I naturally expected her album to be more of the same. What a surprise I was in for! The album consists of a bunch of songs like those I've previously heard, but then there's a whole weirdness thing going on, a bit like Björk or perhaps more similar to those sounds Tom Waits has made his own. The album's quite spooky, and it's got a factory feel to it. The juxtaposition of spookiness with melodic choruses and such poppy devices such as handclaps work very well though. Li is the fortunate owner of a marvellous voice and on the slower tracks it reminds me of Stina Nordenstam. The parts I'm not particularly fond of are the ones where she talks more than sings, but even those ones manage to create an intimate atmosphere that draws you in. This album surprised me, but even though I'd accept twelve "Little bit"s with open arms, the songs on "Youth novels" make for a strong, interesting and intriguing debut album that incorporates many interesting elements without solely relying on them.
- Simon Tagestam