Oh You're So Silent Jens
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As for the production of the album itself, well let's see...pretend you head off to London for a much-needed break and you go record shopping (your first planned activity, of course) at some used record shop, and you're rifling through crates of old vinyl and you stumble upon some 7" by the Left Banke that has literally been gathering dust since 1971, and you go to your friend's apartment in Notting Hill, and she has pink hair and makes her own jewelry and has a turntable naturally, and you play the thing and it just makes you ache with all its scratchy loveliness and you hold the thing to your chest and swear no one has heard any of this before you, and no one deserves to again. That's kinda close.
Lekman channels the almost-apologetic fragility of Nick Drake in his soft vocals and has clearly studied up on the Stephin Merritt catalogue and written copious notes on the Life and Times of Morrissey. His lyrics are wry and pained and whimsical, touched by shades of anguish and despair that are neither frustrating nor suffocating to the listener.Read more ›
These songs with orchestrations as if songs for a six year old, so sweet with pretty clattery notes, all morph into something different when you listen to the lyrics. The contrast between the topics/lyrics and melodies/arrangements are mind-twisting.
Listen to "I Saw Her in the AntiWar Demonstration," pulling in and turning the stereotypical 1960s hippie theme phrase into something that's cynical and bittersweet.
Or, in "Another Sweet Summer's Night on Hammer Hill," a song about the horrible physical abuse he's seen schoolmates inflict on those who are different, after neutrally describing the police coming to free a girl who'd been attacked by schoolmates for being different, he sings that she's now free to grow up to be a cynical writer. Crickets chirp in the background throughout the song -- macabre and funny at the same time.
Or, "f-word, f-word, pardon my French, but it's b.s., b.s."
These strange juxtapositions make you stop and think. You can't not listen.
I want to write words like melancholy, cynical, bittersweet, pensive, wistful, but it doesn't begin to do justice to the humorous twists in lyrics, the outright funniness of it, and the cockeyed intensity of his view of the world, especially given the paradoxical orchestrations.
Words fail me. Just listen. I agree with the 'tagger' -- Cool.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
B-sides or not, this is his best album, believe it or not. A gorgeous and warm musical masterpiece perfect for a rainy sunday afternoon.Published 23 months ago by Justin Pruitt
Oh, you should just buy this. Great melodies, clever lyrics, a pinch of despair every now and then. What's not to love?Published on September 22, 2011 by Nick M. Siebers
Just had to comment on how Jens Lekman sounds, sings, thinks, and writes so much like NYC simple man common observation auteur singer songwriter Don Lennon. Read morePublished on May 16, 2011 by Clem Kadiddlehopper
This is the best Jens Lekman album. I put him up with Bob Dylan at a young age with this release. It doesn't have the same pop sound as If I wanted to be your dog, but buy that... Read morePublished on December 27, 2006 by J. Wahlgren
I saw this cd on someone's listamania and i gave it a shot. It is amazing--ridiculously good. please check it out yourself because i don't want to write anymore.Published on March 18, 2006 by Ender Wiggin
Oh why do you have to be silent now Jens? I often discover albums long after they've been released, and while I'm always glad to find something that tickles my ear, I recently read... Read morePublished on February 8, 2006 by somethingexcellent
How thankful am I that Jens Lekman broke free of Sweden's borders and entered my headphones on the North American continent. Transatlanticism is as cool as it sounds. Read morePublished on January 17, 2006 by Stephen Collins