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I Know What Love Isn't

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 4, 2012
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Frequently Bought Together

  • I Know What Love Isn't
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Editorial Reviews

The album came out of a break up which isn't a new story. He fell in love and it didn't work out. It borrows sparingly from the vast and colorful palette of sounds he created on Kortedala. I Know What Love Isn't has strings but not a string section, an upright piano not grand, a single saxophone, gracenotes from a flute, a lot of tambourine. Combined in exact proportions with Lekman's melancholy abstract lyrics, the songs evoke the classic sound of the Brill Building in it's heyday.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 4, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Secretly Canadian
  • ASIN: B008EG700U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,866 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. W. Dingboom on October 22, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I was first introduced to Jens Lekman when I found a cell phone video of a concert where he covered Paul Simon's hit "You Can Call Me Al" ([...]). Beyond being just a SOLID cover of a great song, I was amused by how Jens playfully teased the audience by refusing to sing the chorus of the song. The little wells of laughter from the crowd just killed me.

Fast forward a few months and scrolling through Amazon's digital music deals I see his name and a $5 album and say to myself "Why not?".
Pretty much the rest of the week, I'm calling friends over to my desk and showing them the music videos for "Erica America" and "Become Someone Else's" simply because I needed someone I could sit with and say "Isn't that just SO GOOD?"

It's not my normal type of music, but I'm glad I have it to listen to on a good long drive, or when I'm just looking to end the day on a good note.
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Format: Audio CD
Jens Lekman writes the kind of wistful, lovelorn pop that can sound too precious and twee when mishandled--and even he has had some missteps--but you won't find any of them here. This is a collection of sweet, understated, fragile pop gems. Burt Bacharach himself would have been pleased with the mellow piano and sax groove of "Erica America", and the shuffling disco beats of "She Just Don't Want To Be With You Anymore" hide a sadness that has you tapping your toes until you realize that the song is much more serious than those drums led you to believe. There is heartbreak here, but although you can feel the pain, Jens sort of seems like he is trying to laugh it off, tell you that "it's nothing...". We know he's lying. He's had his heart broken (again) and I am sad to hear it, but the music that he has given us is something beautiful and small, precious. A very good album for those who love Jens.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I'll start off by saying that i'm a pretty big fan of Jens. His albums previous to this one seemed to have 2 or 3 gems in it surrounded by somewhat ok songs, but nothing was cohesive. This album was very well thought out and put together IMO. Again, at least 3 gems, but this time the other sounds are quite good and I don't feel the need to skip them to get to my favorites. I am recommending this album to people. It captures his wit through his lyrics and his ability to make catchy melodic music in the process.
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Format: Audio CD
Sometimes MWAS feels an album warrants a more personal approach to the review and I will allow my guard to slip - I feel this latest release by Mr Lekman is such an instance, 'I Know what Love Isn't' happens to be a deeply heartfelt and brutally unflinching breakup album so why not admit that as I approach my mid thirties I find myself shuddering at the thought I might be the type of individual people could possibly refer to as 'unlucky in love' - perhaps this in turn leads me to have a deeper appreciation of this latest offering from Jens than those in the happily settled brigade? Who knows, all I'm sure of is this is a very tidy release that instead of choosing to compete with the songwriting tour de force that was 'Night Falls on Kortedala' decides to unswervingly focus on hitting that world weary, lovelorn sweet spot, basking in the bittersweet romance of heartbreak.

Every song here contains at least one great line, whether Jens is describing the way guys cling to their girlfriends at rock gigs or listing the ways to spot you're in a relationship where one party is committing the worst crime of 'loving without loving' the lyrics remain steadfastly honest and subtly humorous throughout. The consistency in tone and writing quality make this album a joy to listen to in one sitting, the pacing is spot on with enough melodic detail and addictive choruses to make certain that attention never wavers.

So Jens you're nursing a broken heart huh? I hear you brother, I hear you. As you put it all too well 'the world just shrugs its shoulders and keeps going' - that may well be the case but all I can say is this album elicits far more than a shrug from me, this is a beautiful work that will speak to many.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Lyrically hilarious/profound. Maybe you think I am nostalgic or overtly romantic but I listen to much pop music and lyrics such as this are sparse in my opinion. Not to mention the band is tight and production totally clean. Easy to focus on the songwriting and emotional content when it's presented so well. Maybe I am a sap. If you're considering this album, you may be as well. Bask in it
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Format: Audio CD
3rd album from Swedish artist--sweet, swooning, lovelorn storytelling pop ballads for rainy
afternoons in an outdoor European café, watching handholding strangers go by with a tear in
your eye. Lekman's gently intriguing, inviting voice is surrounded by a minimally orchestrated
jazzy pop feel that emphasizes the subtlety of emotional expression. I guess it's just a bit too subtle for me. Sometimes recalls
Morrissey, Prefab Sprout, Sondre Lerche, Elliott Smith.
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