Jens Lekman

Album Title: When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog
Release Date: September 28, 2004
Genre: Indie Rock
The crackle on 'Tram #7 to Heaven', the opening track of Jens Lekman's debut album, sets the tone for what's to come on the rest of the record. It's a return to the era of fedoras and overcoats, the war torn '40s, the romance of romance itself (according to 'Casablanca', anyways). It's not that Lekman is a crooner in the Sinatra sense, and by no means is he sappy. There's just something in the stripped down nature of 'When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog' that lends itself to the period. It might have something to do with the liberal use of brass and string instruments as well. Possibly.

Lo-fi in a way completely different from most indie acts, Lekman has stumbled on to something truly exceptional. Writing mainly around the timeless topic of love and heartbreak, Lekman gives his songs an edge with his quirky and sometimes twisted lyrics. Although lines like "Yeah I got busted/So I used my one phone call to dedicate/A song to you on the radio" aren't typically choice words to woo a woman, Lekman somehow makes even a criminal seem like a stand-up guy. There's a swagger in both his writing and performance of his songs, yet it doesn't come off as arrogance, but rather well-founded confidence.

When the fact that the Swedish singer/songwriter is just 23 comes into play, the grace and self-assurance in his lyrics seems all the more impressive. Lekman could very well be a modern-day musical Humphrey Bogart: guys want to be him, and girls want to be with him. "At a Christmas party, I'd hold your hair when you vomit/I'd help you up to brush your teeth"- just go ahead and try not to fall head over heels for the guy.

Writer: Jaclyn Arndt

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