Jens Lekman’s lyrical genius

Posted October 23rd, 2007 by eric · 1 Comment

Slate gushes over Jens Lekman today in a fanboy piece that is so self-deprecating and honest that it doesn’t seem to offend on any level, despite its reckless superlative-tossing (“Lekman is a fully realized pop genius, and each of his full-length records is its own masterpiece”). Focusing on Lekman’s lyrical gift of gab, author Stephen Metcalf finds some clever turns of phrase that would invariably make even Stephin Merritt jealous (“Maple Leaves”):

“She said it was all make-believe
but I thought you said maple leaves
and when she talked about a fall
I thought she talked about a season
I never understood at all

I thought she said maple leaves
and when she talked about the fall
I thought she talked about Mark E Smith
I never understood at all”

Lekman appeals to the more learned of the white, middle-to-upper-class tech-savvy indie rock consumers- the ones who veer towards the overtly precious twee of The Magnetic Fields, Belle & Sebastian, and even Morrissey, so his niche audience is unlikely to widen, even with such an endearingly quotable catalog. But Metcalf’s 4-year-old daughter loves him, so, perhaps, there’s hope. Lekman’s latest record, Night Falls Over Kortadala, just came out this month on Secretly Canadian

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 K // Oct 23, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    I find this a little freaky “Second, his influences and affinities are instantly obvious: Stephin Merritt’s drone, Morrissey’s bite, Belle and Sebastian’s atmospherics, with some of Jonathan Richman’s wild pitch and yaw. ” compared with my review in January of 2005 “Your Merritt-like vocals, your Knox worthy lyrical musings, your tinny Glaswegianesque symphonies, your Butterfly Child-like orchestrations and last but not least your lovable Richman inflections.”

    Any way you put it, he is definitely a pop genius. I can’t wait to see him on Thursday!