As each of my four readers know by now, I am a big fan of JENS LEKMAN. Imagine my excitement leading up to the release of his latest “I Know What Love Isn’t.” For those who don’t know, what JENS does so well is create songs that provide a detailed account of life and love, usually stemming from very specific incidents or places, and often, whether or not JENS intends them to be, they are hilarious. And they stay in your head.
I read some reviews that described this album as a bit of a downer, in comparison to previous releases. Yes, the tone is less upbeat. For starters, this new album is not as hilarious as past albums. I’m ok with that. I also read that its creation was influenced by breakup, and that theme does pops up from time to time in this collection of songs. Don’t worry, there are plenty of hooks, this time provided by more organic instruments and less sampling. JENS‘ past albums used samples really well to create moods and provide cool aural embellishments. Although the songs on this new album share the lush arrangements of past albums, it’s clear a lot of care went into piecing this all together with real musicians. Perhaps the breakups and heartache are pushing JENS to hone his craft even more.
Despite the more dour tone, the songs are still very catchy and, as always, you should pay attention to the lyrics so you can follow the story, catch the joke or share in the poignant ending. You might find your self saying “Jeez, that poor JENS, why won’t things go his way?” Or, more so, during this album, “C’mon, JENS, quit your whining.” Well, as long as JENS LEKMAN keeps putting out such finely crafted pop songs, I don’t want him to stop whining.
JENS LEKMAN “I Know What Love Isn’t”
JENS LEKMAN “Erica America”
JENS LEKMAN “The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love”