Jens Lekman: An Argument With Myself

Jens Lekman, An Argument With MyselfJens Lekman: An Argument With Myself
Music is littered with artists who sing in their non-native language. I think back to my teenage days listening to Swedish punk band, Millencolin. The band wrote good melodies but their lyrics were terrible. Now, I listen to Swedish singer/songwriter Jens Lekman who writes better lyrics than most native speakers of English. His lyrics manage to capture emotional depth while remaining somewhat humorous. He displays this skill on his new EP, An Argument With Myself.
The titular track is the perfect example of Jens Lekman’s lyrical skills. The track chronicles Lekman walking home after a break up as he essentially yells at himself for screwing up the relationship. The concept is fairly genius and the execution manages to deliver on the concepts potential. Lekman sings “Oh please, no you oh please!/I wanna see you drop down on your knees/I wanna see your hand waving “Farewell”/Why you hittin’ yourself, why you hittin’ yourself?”
The same lyrical ability is shown in “Waiting for Kirsten.” The track does not show the emotional depth of “An Argument With Myself” but it shows something that I rarely associate with Jens Lekman. The song has a sociopolitical element. The track is about an actress named Kirsten filming a movie in Lekman’s hometown of Gothenburg. The track gives the listener a tour of Gothenburg as Lekman imagines what he would tell Kirsten if he could meet her. He sings “Cause times are changing Kirsten/Göta Älv is slowly reversing/They turned a youth-center into a casino/They drew a swastika in your cappuccino/And the VIP lines are not to the clubs/But to healthcare, apartment and jobs.”
The fact that Lekman can tell the listener so much in a such an entertaining way is a skill that few possess. An Argument With Myself cements Lekman as one of the best lyricists of our time in my mind.
Rating: 10/10
MP3: Jens Lekman “Waiting For Kirsten”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!