Night Falls Over Kortedala
Jens Lekman's first album Oh You're So Silent Jens was a real Marmite album. It's a style of music that has drawn comparisons to artists as diverse as Morrissey, Scott Walker and Jonathan Richman. And, if you're feeling uncharitable, Mike Flowers. The Swedish songwriter has followed up by rooting his music in lush, kitsch strings (how often do you expect to hear harp on an 'indie' record?) and poppy melody, crooning like Edwyn Collins at a karaoke night.
Night Falls Over Kortedala is a poppier album, but there have to be real questions about whether some wry lyrics can save the Divine Comedy -esque music from self-parody. As camp as a Rufus Wainwright performance, the album trips lightly from one 60s orchestral pop song to another, with occasional moments of interest, and a very odd moment of great melody - The Opposite of Hallelujah. There are a lot of people who prefer their music to be 'ironic' and Lekman nails that brilliantly - where Josh Rouse's new pop is rather too earnestly bland, Night Falls pulls back a touch. In the end, however, without its lyrics, it wouldn't be worth a mention.