Artist: Jens Lekman
Title: An Argument With Myself
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
Jens Lekman, should his current touring schedule fall to pieces, could easily find work as an entertainer at any number of 5-star resorts in tropical locations around the globe. There’s something so perfectly sunny, breezy, and carefree about his latest EP An Argument With Myself, the latest release to prove that Scandinavians know how to make cool-sounding, pretty pop records with sparkling clean production.
As fun as the music is (infusions of saxophone, trumpet, accordian, mandolin, flute, and extra percussion keep each song snappy and interesting), it’s hard to ignore the lyrics, or Jens’ voice. He comes across like David Byrne meets Joel Gibb from the Hidden Cameras; a zany storyteller with plenty on his mind who delivers it all in a light n’ bouncy fashion. Take “Waiting For Kirsten”, his recounting of an evening spent waiting for Kirsten Dunst outside of her hotel room that also debunks the notion of celebrity status in Sweden: “In Gothenburg we don’t have VIP lines/In Gothenburg we don’t make a fuss about who you are”, and later in the song, some more commentary: “The VIP lines are not to the clubs/But to health care, apartments, and jobs.”
At times, An Argument With Myself borders on the goofy/campy side; it’s often hard to tell if Lekman is tongue-in-cheeking it, or having a honest go at things, but does that makes the listening experience less enjoyable? Not at all, especially when the last song on the EP contains the line, “This guy at my office/I think he’s up to something/He smells like Earl Gray”.