So Sad So Sexy

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So Sad So Sexy
Lykke Li - So Sad So Sexy.png
Studio album by
Released8 June 2018 (2018-06-08)
StudioGreen Oak (Los Angeles)
Larrabee (Los Angeles)
Lykke Li chronology
I Never Learn
So Sad So Sexy
Singles from So Sad So Sexy
  1. "Deep End"
    Released: 19 April 2018
  2. "Hard Rain"
    Released: 19 April 2018
  3. "Utopia"
    Released: 13 May 2018
  4. "Sex Money Feelings Die"
    Released: 29 May 2018
  5. "Two Nights"
    Released: 29 May 2018

So Sad So Sexy (stylized in all lowercase) is the fourth studio album by Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li, released on 8 June 2018 by RCA.[2] The album was preceded by the release of the singles "Deep End", "Hard Rain", "Utopia", "Sex Money Feelings Die" and "Two Nights" featuring Aminé. Ilsey Juber co-wrote the majority of the album, which is musically influenced by trap.[3][4] Malay served as an executive producer, with further production by Li's husband Jeff Bhasker, T-Minus, DJ Dahi, Illangelo, Emile Haynie, Jonny Coffer, Kid Harpoon and Rostam Batmanglij, among others.

Release and promotion[edit]

Lykke Li announced So Sad So Sexy on 19 April alongside the release of the first two singles from the record, "Deep End" and "Hard Rain".[5] She released the third single "Utopia" on Mother's Day with an intimate video directed by Clara Cullen.[6] On 29 May, she released two more singles, "Sex Money Feelings Die" and "Two Nights" featuring Aminé.[7] On 10 April, Li shared a trailer for the album featuring a snippet of the title track, which Clash called a "silken pop groove that display[s] Lykke at her effortless best".[8] Under the Radar called the 90-second album trailer "mysterious" and noted Li appearing in different settings wearing various outfits.[9]

Li is set to play various European and North American festivals including the Osheaga Festival in support of the album in mid-2018.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[12]
Consequence of SoundB[3]
Drowned in Sound6/10[13]
The Independent4/5 stars[14]
The Irish Times4/5 stars[15]
The Line of Best Fit6/10[16]
NME4/5 stars[17]
Slant Magazine2.5/5 stars[18]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 71 based on 20 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11] Ilana Kaplan of The Independent wrote, "Li's latest foray in pop is a brilliant display of growth, both personally and professionally. She once again proves that there's no such thing as boring in her music."[14] Consequence of Sound's Grant Sharples said, "Although the trap-influenced style wears thin at times, so sad so sexy is a superb reinvention of Lykke Li."[3] Neil Z. Yeung of AllMusic said, "Li's defeat and grief are palpable, yet she delivers with such grace and control, which offers a glimmer of hope for the fellow romantically downtrodden. With production to match, so sad so sexy succeeds in providing a relatable therapy session for love's final gasps."[12]

In a less positive review, Exclaim! critic Jenna Mohammed said the album "is an unusual blend of pop and R&B inspiration, but it's not a memorable album. Lykke Li scratches the bare surface of the talent she possesses, making you wish there was just a little more energy."[1] Similarly, Claire Biddles of The Line of Best Fit wrote, "The album's repeated motif of smoking and cigarettes as an addiction metaphor feels try-hard rather than smart. The best tracks are those that transpose the drama of Li's best work to the album's more explicitly pop context."[16] Slant Magazine's Josh Goller wrote, "So Sad So Sexy is a sleek, homogenous pop-oriented album that feels both conceptually half-formed and technically fussed-over."[18] For Pitchfork, Stacey Anderson wrote that "with festival-ready hooks and trap-inspired production, Lykke Li delivers another record about an unraveling romance and the fraught sexuality of its final moments with diminishing returns", and that "her traumas are too often muted by abstraction and unspecificity … it is beginning to lose its impact".[4]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[19]

1."Hard Rain"Batmanglij3:30
2."Deep End"
3."Two Nights" (featuring Aminé)
4."Last Piece"
5."Jaguars in the Air"
  • Li
  • Juber
  • Bhasker
  • Ho
  • Williams
  • Bhasker
  • Malay
  • T-Minus
6."Sex Money Feelings Die"2:19
7."So Sad So Sexy"
  • Malay
  • Bhasker
  • Haynie
8."Better Alone"Illangelo4:31
9."Bad Woman"
  • Malay
  • Kid Harpoon[b]
  • Li
  • Juber
  • Coffer
  • Ho
  • Malay
  • Coffer
Total length:34:02


  • ^[a] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[b] signifies a vocal producer
  • All tracks are stylized in lowercase letters. For example, "Deep End" is stylized as "deep end".
  • "Hard Rain" features background vocals from Rostam Batmanglij.
  • "Deep End", "Jaguars in the Air" and "Better Alone" feature background vocals from Ilsey Juber.
  • "So Sad So Sexy" features background vocals from Andrew Wyatt and Ilsey Juber.


Credits adapted from AllMusic.[20]

  • Lykke Li – vocals, executive production
  • Aminé – vocals (track 3)
  • Rostam Batmanglij – production, synthesizer, piano, sampling, drum programming, pitch adjustment, background vocals
  • Ali Payami – production, bass, brass band, drums, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer
  • Jeff Bhasker – production, guitar, keyboards, piano, Moog synthesizer
  • Malay – production, executive production, engineering
  • Illangelo – production, mixing
  • Skrillex – production, additional production
  • Jonny Coffer – production
  • DJ Dahi – production
  • Emile Haynie – production
  • T-Minus – production
  • Kid Harpoon – vocal production
  • Ilsey Juber – guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals
  • Matt Chamberlain – drums
  • Dave Eggar – cello, orchestration, string arrangements, viola
  • Brandon Wallace – orchestration, string arrangements
  • Scott Desmarais – assistance
  • Robin Florent – assistance
  • FrancisGotHeat – drum programming
  • Ryan Nasci – engineering
  • Chris Galland – mixing engineering
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing
  • Gabe Sackier – remixing
  • Dave Kutch – mastering
  • Jean-Baptiste – creative direction
  • Talbourdet Napoleone – creative direction
  • Chloéle Drezen – photography


Chart (2018) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[21] 78
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[22] 55
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[23] 79
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[24] 80
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[25] 89
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[26] 31
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[27] 78
Irish Albums (IRMA)[28] 53
New Zealand Heatseeker Albums (RMNZ)[29] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[30] 19
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[31] 88
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[32] 10
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[33] 27
UK Albums (OCC)[34] 73
US Billboard 200[35] 173
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[36] 12


  1. ^ a b c Mohammed, Jenna (5 June 2018). "Lykke Li so sad so sexy". Exclaim!. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  2. ^ Maicki, Salvatore (19 April 2018). "Lykke Li shares two new singles from so sad so sexy". The Fader. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Sharples, Grant (5 June 2018). "Lykke Li Reinvents Herself on the Heartbreaking so sad so sexy". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Anderson, Stacey (13 June 2018). "Lykke Li: so sad so sexy Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  5. ^ Kim, Michelle; Strauss, Matthew (19 April 2018). "Lykke Li Announces New Album, Shares 2 New Songs: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  6. ^ Kim, Michelle (13 May 2018). "Watch Lykke Li's Video for New Song "utopia"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Lykke Li shares two new songs, "two nights" and "sex money feelings die"". Consequence of Sound. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  8. ^ Murray, Robin (10 April 2018). "Lykke Li Teases New Single 'So Sad So Sexy'". Clash. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  9. ^ Roberts, Christopher (9 April 2018). "Lykke Li Shares Mysterious "So Sad So Sexy" Teaser Trailer Featuring New Music". Under the Radar. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  10. ^ Andreakos, Jimmy (19 April 2018). "Lykke Li's 'So Sad So Sexy' Announcement Includes Two New Songs". Uproxx. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Critic reviews for so sad so sexy". Metacritic. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  12. ^ a b Z. Yeung, Neil. "so sad so sexy - Lykke Li". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  13. ^ Wylde, Nicoletta (5 June 2018). "Album Review: Lykke Li - So Sad So Sexy". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  14. ^ a b Kaplan, Ilana (6 June 2018). "Album reviews: Lykke Li's 'so sad, so sexy', Gruff Rhys's 'Babelsberg' and more". The Independent. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  15. ^ Bruton, Louise (1 June 2018). "Lykke Li: So Sad So Sexy review – the erotic power of lovelorn misery". The Irish Times. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  16. ^ a b Biddles, Claire (6 June 2018). "On her new record, Lykke Li's trademark knife-edge feels blunt". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  17. ^ Trendell, Andrew (6 June 2018). "Lykke Li – 'So Sad So Sexy' review". NME. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  18. ^ a b Goller, Josh (6 June 2018). "Lykke Li: So Sad So Sexy | Album Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  19. ^ "so sad so sexy". Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  20. ^ "so sad so sexy - LYkke Li". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  21. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #477". auspOp. 16 June 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  22. ^ " – Lykke Li – So Sad So Sexy" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  23. ^ " – Lykke Li – So Sad So Sexy" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Lykke Li Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  25. ^ " – Lykke Li – So Sad So Sexy" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  26. ^ "Lykke Li: So Sad So Sexy" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  27. ^ " – Lykke Li – So Sad So Sexy" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Irish Albums Chart: 15 June 2018". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  29. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  30. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 24, 2018". VG-lista. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  31. ^ "Top 100 Albumes – Semana 24: del 8.6.2018 al 14.6.2018" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Sverigetopplistan – Sveriges Officiella Topplista". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 15 June 2018. Click on "Veckans albumlista".
  33. ^ " – Lykke Li – So Sad So Sexy". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  34. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  35. ^ "Lykke Li Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  36. ^ "Lykke Li Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 June 2018.