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i Lykke Timotej Zachrisson hasn’t needed a reviewer to describe her music since she called an album So Sad So Sexy in 2018. Pouty lips and heartache have been the Swedish singer’s USP all along. she sang “For you I keep my apart, and forget my broken heart,” on haunting Scandipop on her debut single, Little Bit, 15 years ago. Her third album, I Never Learn, is her darkest hour, with a cover appearing showing her wearing a mourning scarf, and this is her fifth day back in that darkest territory.

Again, she pre-described it in vivid catchy terms: “I wanted the recording to have the intimate feel of listening to the voice memo with a large dose of LSD.” It also seems that the 36-year-old is past his time trying for anything to reach for a hit single. In an interview in 2019, she said, “Maybe I’m at the end of my career so I really want to show style and do something that’s exactly what I want to do.”

That means a collection of just eight songs, most of which have no beat, intentionally spinning at 33 minutes and 33 seconds to complement the title’s palindrome. EYEYE is also a video experience, but less lavish than Beyoncé’s photo albums and more opaque arthouse minimalism. There is a depiction of an extremely unhappy relationship between the singer and her co-star, and a car accident, but each clip plays out in a short loop. It’s meant to reflect the way we use media today, which doesn’t have the patience for longer videos, but really just feels too confusing and unsatisfying.

Music is also her most fragile thing, sometimes possessing a perfect beauty, as when a line of keyboards vibrates down the surface of Highway to Your Heart, but often also sounds like a waiting demo. perfected from its sketchy origins. The way she delivers her fragile voice still has great appeal, especially on the glittering Carousel, and it seems she still has a lot to say in parting: “With a little sun outside you’re mine / But it never rocks,” she cooed on 5D. There’s a bit more tonal diversity as some of the distant drums materialize from the cloud towards the close, but overall EYEYE is slow, very sad, and perhaps too bleak to qualify as sexy this time around.

(PIAS / Crush Music)

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