Jens Lekman’s pretty deft at making folks weak in the knees with his charming blog tales and soulful, smart (and often silly) Swedish croon. On his third album Gothenburg’s most important non-melodic death metal export may also cause a bit o’ swooning with his newfound (relative) self-control: Night Falls Over Kortedala doesn’t include Calvin Johnson samples, the “F-Word,” or the shaggy collagist feel of 2005′s Oh You’re So Silent Jens comp; instead, back from the department of forgotten song, the sweetly melancholic one hones his skills, tightens the leash, and writes a dozen, gleefully catchy tunes that add up to his strongest, most accomplished song cycle.

No, not every tune’s a winner, and we’re unsure if anything can top “Maple Leaves” or “Black Cab,” but the storytelling’s sharper, the emotion’s more refined. Plus, it’s difficult not to fall under the spell of an album that opens with something as exultantly, dramatically Sirkian as “And I Remember Every Kiss,” sporting lines like “I swear I’ll never kiss anyone / Who doesn’t burn me like the sun / And I will cherish every kiss, like my first kiss.” Goddamn do we ever want to see 50 Cent write shit like “you get a gun and you name it after a girlfriend.”

We’ve posted “The Opposite Of Hallelujah” with its oceanic pathos (“I picked up a seashell to illustrate my homelessness, / but a crab crawled out of it, making it useless / And all my metaphors fell flat, down on the rocks where we sat”), the album’s first single “Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo,” and mentioned our love for the sparkling, Lion Sleep-y live favorite “A Postcard To Nina” (which, come to think of it, does rank with “Maple Leaves,” et al). These are all clues as to what you should expect on the other ten tracks: That Magnetic/Moz-like dry humor set to doo-wop and a.m. radio and twee pop.

Thematically, much of the material deals with kisses and memory (head immediately to “Sipping On The Sweet Nectar” for a bit of both!), as if Lekman looked back upon the older dusky, belled ballad “Someone to Share My Life With” and opted to expand the thesis some with lived experiences, rather than with wishes and conjecture.

Let’s take another look at that artwork. If only our haircuts were so blissful…

Night Falls Over Kortedala is out 9/5 on Service records in Scandinavia and 10/9 in US on Secretly Canadian.

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Comments (12)
  1. lindsey k  |   Posted on Aug 17th, 2007 0

    swoon!

  2. omg  |   Posted on Aug 17th, 2007 0

    Great record, his most consistent to date IMO.

  3. it’s absolutely brilliant. I love it.

    and a Postcard for Nina, yeah, contender for epic song of the year.

  4. Oe  |   Posted on Aug 18th, 2007 0

    “Gothenburg’s most important non-melodic death metal export” — lame joke or ambiguous grammar?

  5. Zayin_451  |   Posted on Aug 18th, 2007 0

    I really want to like this dude’s music. That cover art is awesome, too. I just can’t get into it. I tried hard to like “..so Silent..” but I can’t. Maybe I’ll hunt down some tunes from the new album. Any suggestions?

  6. Jon N√∂dtveidt from beyond the grave  |   Posted on Aug 18th, 2007 0

    Oe, Gothenburg is famous for its metal scene. Also, there’s something about Swedish non-metal music that I can’t put my finger on that’s awesome.

  7. Sally Shapiro  |   Posted on Aug 18th, 2007 0

    Gothenburg is also where Sally Shapiro is from…so not just metal but also Italo Disco!

  8. Becky  |   Posted on Aug 19th, 2007 0

    I can’t wait for the album to drop, I love Jens’s music. Plus, I finally live near an indie record store, so I’ll actually be able to buy it in CD form.

  9. I’ve been listening to nothing but this for all of last week, and I love it. A Postcard to Nina is a brilliant song, and I hope he tours some here in the States so I can see him performing it live.

  10. Alex  |   Posted on Aug 20th, 2007 0

    this is the most solid jens album yet. At first, I was a bit let down by the lack of a stunning single like “Black Cab” or “Maple Leaves,” but like has been mentioned, “Postcard to Nina” is one of the most beautiful songs of the year. the album cover sums up this album perfectly, can’t wait to buy a big ole record and put it on my wall

  11. i’m deep in a love affair wtih this album, but is just me of does ‘sipping on sweet nectar’ sound like the love boat?

  12. Taylor  |   Posted on Sep 19th, 2007 0

    I don’t know, I adore Mr Lekman but I dont know how I feel about this album. he’s always ben orchestral but it feels like overproduction now. Much of his dry wit seems to have been traded in for pure unadulterated melodrama
    ..sorry, now you all hate me :/

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