Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala

Jonathan Wingate

By Jonathan Wingate

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

You've got to love anyone who comes up with a song title like "I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You." Jens Lekman's intelligent, witty lyrics have drawn comparisons to everyone from Jonathan Richman to Morrissey, and while his predilection for needlessly complex musical tangents may put off some people, the Swedish singer-songwriter concocts an infectious mix of orchestral indie-pop.

Catchier and more lovable than anything he has recorded before. (Wait…is that possible?)

If you can get over the occasionally quirky arrangements — the otherwise gorgeous "Into Eternity" flits clumsily between salsa and early electro rhythms — Lekman's songs are well worth a bit of perseverance. He not only knows how to write a hummable tune, but also how to deliver it with feeling. On songs such as "The Opposite of Hallelujah" and "A Postcard to Nina," Lekman's croon is so full of pathos you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to Edwyn Collins or the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon at their best.

Although his second album has more than enough strangeness and charm to keep Lekman's previous fans happy, the songs on Night Falls Over Kortedala are simply catchier and more lovable than anything he has recorded before. It's splendid stuff.