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No one delivers a lyrical line quite like the enchanting Swedish chanteuse, Lykke Li. Only a fool would refuse her when she asks, “Oh I beg you / Can I follow?” on “I Follow Rivers.” Because it’s obvious that we, the humble listeners of Lykke Li, should be doing the following.
On “I Follow Rivers,” she takes us on a darker, more internal journey as compared to the ethereal “Dance Dance Dance” and the exuberant “Little Bit” found on her 2008 debut Youth Novels. “I Follow Rivers” is about intangibles rather than just making butter for her piece of bun.
This glimpse of Li’s Wounded Rhymes requires music that can stand up to her throaty message. Dave Sitek (aka Maximum Balloon and of TV on the Radio) proves he is up to the task, remixing “I Follow Rivers” so the instrumentation grows to match the size of her voice.
Sleigh bells kick off the opening before horns well up, bearing the melody along on a swift current of reverberating bass and drums. The result is a song so big it could swallow up not just an entire dance floor, but easily take a whole city block as collateral damage.
Sitek inserts a brief horn fill that cuts such an optimistic contrast to the rest of the track; it’s a momentary pause before the song journeys on to its final resting place, or as Li calls it, “Deep sea, baby.” On March 1, 2011 Atlantic Records will release Wounded Rhymes, which includes “I Follow Rivers.”