When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog
By: Kerry M
Oh Jens Lekman, how I love thee, let me count the ways. Your Merritt-like vocals, your Knox worthy lyrical musings, your tinny Glaswegianesque symphonies, your Butterfly Child-like orchestrations and last but not least your lovable Richman inflections. You slyly lured me into your tawdry world with the seemingly accidental genius of Maples Leaves and Black Cab performed as your alter-ego Rocky Dennis but soon after delivered so much more than I bargained for with your long player, When I Said I Wanted to be Your Dog (Secretly Canadian).
Not since the (ironically?) gorgeous synthetic beeps and baritone musings of Long Vermont Roads (Magnetic Fields’ Charm of the Highway Strip) have I fallen so completely for an artist and album. Taking cues from a long line of lower octave crooners, you unabashedly fashion rhymes so absurd yet so heartfelt and sincere that I can't help but smile as I sing along. And I do sing along. I can't resist the urge to accompany your lamenting and coy contemplation. You've quickly become the soundtrack to my shower operettas (“Oh Julie, meet me by the vending machine. Oh Julie, I'm gonna buy you a wedding ring”), my full-vocal-range road trip sing-a-longs (“Did you take tram #7 to heaven, and did you eat your banana from 7-11?”), and in particular the quiet nights on the couch reading pretentious modern literature (“The cold Swedish winter is right outside, and I just want somebody to hold me through the night…”).
You've become a bad habit Jens. I just can't shake you. I've told all my friends about your records, repeatedly, often reciting (off key, but not lacking in enthusiasm) your lyrics whilst fervently declaring your musical genius to blank stares and curious looks.
Are you really only 23 years old?! More importantly, does Julie know about Sylvia?
Check out: The Department of Forgotten Songs