Old Music: Jens Lekman – “When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog”

Photo by elchicodelaleche

There’s nothing wrong with Jens Lekman’s When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog. Most of it, in fact, is all kinds of right — so right that I couldn’t get past the first track for months. “Tram #7 To Heaven” is as angelic as songs get, and I was worried the rest of the album would suffer by contrast. Finally, on the subway the other morning I managed to listen to the whole thing and immediately had to play through it again. Twice. If I’m lucky, albums that good come along 2-3 times a year. But just as I started enjoying the full gamut of Jens’ semi-serious Magnetic Fields-y lo-fi, the title track grabbed me by the neck and started throttling me mercilessly until I listened to it 25 times. In a row. Rough brutes, these moonlight ballads.

“When I Said…” reminds me of any number of my favorite songs — Burd Early’s “Phonecall Away,” or the slower numbers from One AM Radio’s A Name Writ In Water. Lonely, nocturnal, wistful … if anyone can point me in the direction of more songs as good as these, I’ll be eternally grateful. The fact that it made #2 on the Swedish pop charts boggles the mind; what do they know that we don’t?

Jens Lekman – “Tram #7 To Heaven”: mp3
Jens Lekman – “When I Said I Wanted To be Your Dog”: mp3

(When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog was released in 2004 by Secretly Canadian)


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