An Argument with Myself

An Argument with Myself

by Jens LekmanJens Lekman


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Coming almost four years after the release of the excellent Night Falls Over Kortedala album, Jens Lekman's 2011 EP An Argument with Myself is made up of five songs that according to Lekman didn't fit the mood of the songs he'd been working on for a full album. Those songs must reflect the more somber and soulful aspects of Lekman's work because the songs on the EP represent the upbeat, almost chirpy side of his musical personality. The title track has an undulating Afro-pop rhythm and an ultra-twee lyrical construct that has him arguing with himself as he walks down a Melbourne city street at night. Elsewhere, he waits to spot Kirsten Dunst at a café (she's in Gothenburg filming a movie) and thinks about his city and how it's changing, sings street map directions, and laments crap jobs. All sung in his patented sincere and charmingly awkward voice and backed by intelligently sophisticated pop. This time perhaps a bit too sophisticated, as it's the first time Lekman's records have sounded played by professionals instead of pieced together with samples or stumbled through by friends, and inspired instead of painstakingly crafted. It gives the songs a sheen of studio gloss they don't need at all and distracts from Lekman's innate humanity and the intimacy he so easily transmits most of the time. Also, it's a very bad idea to have a song with a fake reggae beat a couple songs after making fun of people stumbling out of a reggae bar. Maybe it's a joke, since it's attached to a song about knuckleheads at the office, but it's not one that works particularly well. Which is too bad, because the song has the best melody of any here and Lekman's vocal harmonies are divine. Overall, the EP feels like a placeholder and not a vital part of his catalog; Lekman sounds like he's merely cruising along. He probably should have waited until after he released his long-awaited third album to release this EP of songs that sound like castoffs. Entertaining castoffs, but not his best work by far.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/20/2011
Label: Secretly Canadian
UPC: 0656605021126
catalogNumber: 50211
Rank: 111286

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jens Lekman   Primary Artist
Rachel Sweet   Sampling
Michael Leonhart   Trumpet
Julia Rydholm   Bass
Ellen Hjalmarsson   Violin
Ulrika Mild   Flute,Vocals
Evelyn Morris   Accordion
Marla Hansen   Violin
Kristin Lidell   Trumpet
Frida Thurfjell   Saxophone
Raquel Solier   Drums
Henning Fürst   Help
Charlie Hall   Drums

Technical Credits

Gary Olson   Engineer,Drum Engineering
Bill Wells   Composer
Brian McTear   Drum Engineering
Jamie Hill   Additional Production
Jens Lekman   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Jonas Odhner   Engineer
Henning Fürst   drum programming
Axel Hugmark   Drawing

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