So much praise has been heaped upon Jens Lekman lately it seems remarkable he isnï¿½t on his way to becoming a worldwide household name. Initially introducing himself to the world with a trio of EPs (Maple Leaves, Rocky Dennis and You Are the Light), Jens has made the slow, steady rise up from obscurity to critical darling in the span of just about two years. While his first full length, 2004ï¿½s When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog, reached the Top 10 in Sweden last year, he has still barely breached the blogger-sphere in the US. So, the latest release of Swedish singer/songwriter extraordinaire, Oh Youï¿½re So Silent Jens, is Secretly Canadianï¿½s way of (re)introducing us to indie-popï¿½s newest crooner.
Lekman has been compared to pretty much everyone lately from Steven Merrit to Jonathan Richman to Morrissey and even (strangely) Beck. His penchant for using overly honest, nostalgic, cheesy lyrics seems like it would be his undoing, but Jensï¿½ sadness somehow seems legit - even when he sings such lines as ï¿½But itï¿½s hard to stay mad when thereï¿½s so much beauty / an open window someoneï¿½s playing tutti fruittiï¿½ in ï¿½Another Sweet Summerï¿½s Night on Hammer Hill.ï¿½ Lekman knows what his schtick is and does it well. Heï¿½s grown up steeped in the indie culture and even shows it off by dropping in (and singing along with) a sample of Calvin Johnson singing ï¿½I'll come running with a heart on fire," from Beat Happening's "Gravedigger Blues.ï¿½ One of the highest notes of the album is definitely the super catchy ï¿½Black Cab,ï¿½ while otherï¿½s will pine at the tangible misunderstandings of ï¿½Maple Leaves,ï¿½ only ï¿½Black Cabï¿½ compares to ï¿½You Are the Lightï¿½ (from his full length) with itï¿½s jaunty beat and catchy chorus.
Itï¿½s remarkable how much irony Lekman is able to come up with and somehow make it honest. Itï¿½s almost as if he doesnï¿½t know what irony even is. You really believe him when he compares the northern lights to someone pouring a beer in the atmosphere. An image appears in your mind exactly as if you were in Sweden on a cold winter's night. In fact thatï¿½s what Oh You're So Silent Jens is, the perfect winter album.