Jens Lekman has built a considerable following as a romantic, storytelling troubadour who revels in celebrating the mundane. Some five years since the much-lauded Night Falls Over Kortedala, Lekman sounds a little older and rather weathered by a relationship breakdown on I Know What Love Isn’t. Born in Sweden, Lekman spent several years living in Melbourne, where he went through a messy break-up and nearly entered into a sham marriage for citizenship.
Theses 10 tracks play out like the ashes of that failed romance, although the music itself seems to rise above like a phoenix. ‘Ever Little Hair Knows Your Name’ starts off in a gentle enough manner, with some soft piano echoes and twinkles; single ‘Erica America’ (featuring vocals by Melbourne’s Sophia Brous) is light, acoustic pop, while ‘Become Someone Else’s’ is rather sugary and upbeat.
Lekman’s baritone often sounds like Morrissey, and the bouncy music paired with lyrics that sit somewhere between hurt, melancholy, wit and humour often make for some interesting juxtapositions. But it’s one that ultimately becomes too one-sided, especially due to the lack of pop hooks that we’ve come to expect from Lekman.
Originally published on 5 November 2012 at the following website: http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/music/34135/Jens-Lekman–I-Know-What-Love-Isnt
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