Music Monday with PLC is a weekly feature written by my husband, Pat.
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Jens Lekman - I know What Love Isn't
Years ago I met someone from Switzerland. I figured I would try to talk about stuff that she knew. So I said how much I loved ABBA. “That is Sweden,” she said.
Oh, how about that Nobel Prize?
Wow, Sweden has a lot of cool stuff. “So where are you from?” she asked. “Cleveland,” I responded. “Isn’t that where the river caught on fire?” “Yeah,” I said as I walked away to talk someone from New Jersey.
This week we check out the latest album from the pride of Gothenburg, Sweden: Jens Lekman. His 3rd album I Know What Love Isn’t has just been released by the ultra cool label Secretly Canadian. Lekman mines the singer/songwriter broken-heart caverns, but what on the surface comes off as slickity slick brunch music, carries some very well written, perfectly cynical lyrical takedowns underneath. To show you where Lekman is coming from, let’s go to the title of one of his first songs: “Rocky Dennis‘ Farewell Song To the Blind Girl.” Wow. That makes me happier than the sunshine on my face.
Check out this album’s title track “I Know What Love Isn’t” - (warning: a flute is used in the solo, so those prone to seizures, tread cautiously) -
Lekman makes great use of different instruments to bring out the melodic nuances in the music. Piano deftly drives many songs, and the additional saxophone, flute and violin never seem out of place in the texture of the song. Add in a little funky drumming and the songs seem to always glide right along rather than get stuck in the scorned singer/songwriter bog. And besides, a guy can’t rock the Japandroids all the time, can he?
Here is the very chill song “Erica America” -
Many influences peek through in Jens Lekman’s work: Morrissey, Bacharach and Costello from their Painted From Memory album, Prefab Sprout, and the occasional Todd Rundgren. Very, very good company to keep if you ask me. A very well done solid album. So take the Michael Buble album out of rotation at your next dinner party and give this Romeo in black jeans a try.
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- last week - The List
- last month - The Cribs
- last season - Haim
- full archive of Music Monday with PLC - HERE