Oh, Don't Be So Silent Jens
By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 1, 2007 7:49PM
The Swedes are really fucking rad, and the latest evidence comes in the form of Jens Lekman having the number one record there this week. Lekman is a pop music master in a time when the genre is struggling to identify a true star, and his presence on the can't-miss Secretly Canadian label should help to expand his appeal Stateside. It's the combination of pretty, bouncy instrumentation and Lekman's unmistakably drole vocal delivery that set him apart from his tinkle-tinkle, bedroom pop contemporaries. Think Richard Hawley's lush instrumentation plus Sufjan Stevens' ear for modern classical composition (minus any trace of self-importance), and you're close to what he's offering up on the recently released Night Falls Over Kortedala.
One of our favorite pieces of the Jens puzzle is his wry, keenly observant lyrics about social situations we all experience, set neatly into the folds of his grandiose musical platform in an unobtrusive, memorable pairing. To write a decent, thought-provoking lyric of any kind today is impressive, but to do it in a language that is not native to you is even more indicative of this guy's significance to the crossroads between popular pop and "indie" pop.
Number one record here? Unlikely, but an incredible night of orchestrated melodies by someone who actually understands how to turn pop music into art will be worth it all the same.
MP3: Jens Lekman - Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo
Jens Lekman plays the Logan Square Auditorium tomorrow night, November 2, 9:30 p.m., $14, All Ages