Jens Lekman

Jens Lekman

Jens Lekman

When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog

Secretly Canadian

After reviewing Jens Lekman’s three introductory EPs, it’s starting to get difficult to heap praise on him without sounding overly repetitive. If you’re not familiar with Lekman from these four-to-five song spurts, When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog should be the album that ropes you in. All the bright spots from his back catalog are here: beautiful lo-fi orchestration, proto-punk fervor, strings copped from ’50s lounge acts, etc. Lekman also throws in a nod to alt. country with some very prominent mandolin as well as some a capella on the anarchic Gothenberg affair “Do You Remember the Riots?”

Lekman outdoes himself in the lyric department yet again, capturing both heartbreaking emotion and random whimsy perfectly. I mean, come on … the opening line of the first track is, “Did you take tram number seven to heaven? / Did you eat your banana from 7-11?” Who else could pull off lines like this and give them equal gravity as, “In church on Sunday making out in front of the preacher / you had a black shirt on with a big picture of Nietzsche?”

This is undoubtedly one of the best releases of 2004, and I could prattle on about its merits at greater length, but I’ve got to save some of my sycophantic adjectives for his releases next year…

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