Jens Lekman – Night falls over Kortedala (sealed US import)

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Nothing on Jens Lekman’s second album does anything to change the fact that he’s a true pop music genius. Night Falls Over Kortadela is witty, pretty, silly, and wise; and filled with instantly memorable melodies, thrilling moments of surprise in the arrangements, and laugh-out-loud lyrics. As always, he draws from a wide range of musical influences, mixing in deft samples from sources as varied as Renaldo & the Loaf and fellow Swedes the Tough Alliance, and always sounding like a guy who is head over heels in love with music. This love translates into the joyous atmosphere that spills over the record like candy from a piñata as he leaps from disco-fied love songs (the blissful “Sipping on the Sweet Nectar”) to doo wop-meets-hip-hop ballads (“Kanske Är Jag Kär I Dig”), from orchestral declarations of devotion (“And I Remember Every Kiss,” with orchestra on loan from Enoch Light) to delightfully ramshackle rockers (“Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo”). Lekman mixes and matches sounds and genres like the world’s most adept DJ, coming up with practically his own style in the process. It’s hard to think of another artist who so gracefully blends the acoustic with the electric, the real with the fake. Lyrically Lekman sticks mostly to love, finding it, losing it, sacrificing for it (his story of being his friend’s boyfriend to fool her father on “A Postcard to Nina” provides the album’s lyrical highlights), but most of all believing in it wholeheartedly. He also shows his talent for capturing the small moments of life — whether it’s cutting the tip of your finger off while slicing avocados (“Your Arms Around Me”) or worrying about your little sister (“The Opposite of Hallelujah”) — hasn’t dimmed at all. Jens Lekman is a craftsman, a showman, and a magician all wrapped up into one tuneful bundle of joy, and Night Falls Over Kortadela is his best album. It’ll have you walking in the clouds before the first song is half over and have you filled with happiness for days afterward. What more could you ask for? Mint.




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