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Swedish crooner Jens Lekman is never one to shy away from emoting, or playful hyperbole. So it is on his latest offering, “The End of the World is Bigger than Love.” He sings that “A broken heart is not the end of the world,” but a broken heart is bigger than a strange and poetic litany that includes an iceberg, the plume of a geyser, a spider floating in your cider, the stock market, and loose change in your pocket. Perspective is everything, and Lekman plays with it in this layered song, adding strings and ancillary percussion (maybe even a Vibraslap?) to create another signature soundscape.
In typical Lekman style, the second verse is not the same as the first. Lekman takes the listener to Washington, D.C., where he was, presumably on Obama’s election day. He leaves town “content in the world’s direction.” Part of Lekman’s gift is to weave folk-singer like storytelling without all the other trappings that often accompany folk music. His last full-length Night Falls Over Kortedala (2007, Secretly Canadian) included two other great storytelling tracks, “Postcard to Nina” and “Kanske Ar Jag Kar I Dig.”
It’s been a few years since Lekman melted hearts with his enduring classic “Black Cab.” Still, any new offering from Lekman, even a one-off like “The End of the World is Bigger than Love” is always welcome. Yet on the subject of a new full-length, well you’re still so silent, Jens. I guess having to wait isn’t the end of the world.