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An Argument With Myself - EP

Jens Lekman

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Album Review

Coming almost four years after the release of the excellent Night Falls Over Kortedala album, Jens Lekman's 2011 EP An Argument with Myself is made up of five songs that according to Lekman didn’t fit the mood of the songs he’d been working on for a full album. Those songs must reflect the more somber and soulful aspects of Lekman’s work because the songs on the EP represent the upbeat, almost chirpy side of his musical personality. The title track has an undulating Afro-pop rhythm and an ultra-twee lyrical construct that has him arguing with himself as he walks down a Melbourne city street at night. Elsewhere, he waits to spot Kirsten Dunst at a café (she’s in Gothenburg filming a movie) and thinks about his city and how it’s changing, sings street map directions, and laments crap jobs. All sung in his patented sincere and charmingly awkward voice and backed by intelligently sophisticated pop. This time perhaps a bit too sophisticated, as it’s the first time Lekman's records have sounded played by professionals instead of pieced together with samples or stumbled through by friends, and inspired instead of painstakingly crafted. It gives the songs a sheen of studio gloss they don’t need at all and distracts from Lekman’s innate humanity and the intimacy he so easily transmits most of the time. Also, it’s a very bad idea to have a song with a fake reggae beat a couple songs after making fun of people stumbling out of a reggae bar. Maybe it’s a joke, since it’s attached to a song about knuckleheads at the office, but it’s not one that works particularly well. Which is too bad, because the song has the best melody of any here and Lekman’s vocal harmonies are divine. Overall, the EP feels like a placeholder and not a vital part of his catalog; Lekman sounds like he’s merely cruising along. He probably should have waited until after he released his long-awaited third album to release this EP of songs that sound like castoffs. Entertaining castoffs, but not his best work by far.

Biography

Born: 06 February 1981 in Gothenburg, Sweden

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Sweden's Jens Lekman emerged from relative obscurity to quickly establish himself as the darling of the global indie pop set, winning widespread acclaim from fans and critics for his uncommonly witty and well-crafted pop songs. Born February 6, 1981, in Gothenburg, Sweden, Lekman exhibited little interest in music as a child, but at 14 was recruited to play bass in a friend's cover band. Within weeks he was writing his own original material, quickly accumulating hundreds of songs. Assuming the alias...
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An Argument With Myself - EP, Jens Lekman
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