Jens Lekman - An Argument with Myself (2011)

After a lengthy hiatus following 2007’s Night Falls Over Kortedala, Jens Lekman is back this fall with a new EP, "An Argument with Myself". The title track presents to us the same old Jens: perky, pretty, witty, and a little bit irritating. The best parts of “An Argument with Myself” are delightful in their imagery and detail—Lekman standing in touristy Melbourne, being thoughtlessly jostled by backpackers, desperately searching for taxi fare. This, coupled with Lekman’s winning vocals and a bright, bouncing melody, pretty much makes up for the song’s somewhat cringe-worthy premise and occasional forced whimsy.
Despite the fact that it revolves around the cutesy conceit of Jens Lekman arguing back and forth with himself, musically “An Argument with Myself” truly does rank with some of his most beautiful and affecting work. The verses, smooth and chiming, impart Lekman’s special brand of barely-contained melancholy, a quality at the heart of great tracks like “The Opposite of Hallelujah.” On the chorus—which sounds appealingly akin to a Phoenix tune—Lekman changes things up a bit with a flatter, more rapid vocal and stabs of synth. And then comes the cringing. “Fuck you / No, you fuck you,” he argues, and asks “Why are you hitting yourself?” A flute intervenes, sickeningly. (I hate flute unless it’s Donovan. He, in my mind, has sole flute privileges.) He asks himself, “Jens, can we just try to figure this out?”
All this…there’s no denying it’s awfully twee. But then he’ll start singing again with that gorgeous, sad voice. And then he’ll bust out a Morrissey-worthy line like “It’s reggae night tonight / And the backpackers are pouring out like a tidal wave of vomit.” With Jens Lekman, I’ve learned to take the annoying in stride. Because though he can indeed be unspeakably precious, his immense talent as a songwriter and vocalist usually wins out. “An Argument with Myself” is no exception: in the end, perhaps not all, but most, is forgiven.
Jens Lekman
An Argument with Myself (EP)
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Buy on Amazon: 

1. An Argument With Myself
2. Waiting for Kirsten
3. A Promise
4. New Directions
5. So This Guy At My Office

Music label: 
Secretly Canadian
United States
Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
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