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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/41ctnvta5il-ss500-1356709592.jpg I Know What Love Isn't

Jens Lekman

I Know What Love Isn't

Secretly Canadian
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
September 4, 2012

"You don't get over a broken heart/You just learn to carry it gracefully," sings Jens Lekman. Which is just what Lekman does on this quietly epic breakup album. On I Know What Love Isn't, the Swedish pop savant refines his sound, enveloping the catchy, eccentric melodies in piano, strings, and the occasional sax solo — a beautifully melancholy folk-lounge blend. Lekman is one of indiedom's sharpest (and gentlest, and funniest) storytellers, whether proposing a sham marriage so the he can get Australian citizenship ("I've always liked the idea of it/A relationship that doesn't lie/About its intensions and shit"), or homing in on the devastating details of a love on the rocks (the girl who puts her hand in her pocket to avoid holding her boyfriend's hand). In the end, Lekman decides "a broken heart is not the end of the world" — a sensible conclusion, sung, of course, to a heartbreaking tune.

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