10.22.2007

Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala

Jens Lekman, the 26-year-old singer/songwriter from Sweden, is the kind of guy you would want your sister to bring home. His sample-heavy baroque pop and absurd-yet-undeniable lyrics don't leave much to speculate. He puts it out there, ridiculous and all. On his 2004 album, a compilation of previously released EPs, Oh You're So Silent, Jens, his transparency was often crisp and raw. With lines like, "I don't want a girl to go down on her knees, I just want someone to share my life with," Lekman sits down with the listener to tell jokes and spill beer.

He does this again on Night Falls Over Kortedala, his spectacular new release out now on Secretly Canadian in the U.S. His first proper LP since his debut When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog, Night Falls sticks to formula. But the formula works, and he doesn’t let it confine his sound. Basing his songs around samples has always been a large part of this formula, producing twee-pop gems with bold string and horn arrangements leading his baritone vocals through candied melodies.

And this is where Lekman has changed. On his previous efforts, he has been the sultan of sadness - from his subject matter to the melody. Even when he was cracking a joke, you felt sorry for him. But on Night Falls, he has achieved a sound full of chirping birds and parting clouds. Even on songs like “If I Could Cry (It Would Feel Like This),” Lekman samples sunshine and makes you sing along with a smile. And you will be singing along to one of the most rich and cohesive records of the year.

Do you remember your first kiss in all its saliva-swapping glory? Lekman will remind you as he calls you to “start sipping on the sweet nectar of your memories.” It seems his world-viewing lenses have turned a bit rosy, and he is even more bear-huggable because of it.




1 comment:

LukeWilkins said...

The day my sister brings Jens Lekman home is the day I steal him away.