CD Review: Jens Lekman

An Argument With Myself (Secretly Canadian)

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If Ben Folds grew up in Sweden and played guitar instead of piano, he might have been Jens Lekman, whose smart-ass wit, geeky charm, and lingering melancholia evokes Folds' literate NPR rock. This five-song EP is Lekman's first release since his 2007 breakthrough, Night Falls Over Kortedala. Whether singing about a fellow who regales co-workers with unfunny internet videos on "So This Guy at My Office" or negotiating confusing streets on the horn-addled "New Directions," Lekman shows off his gift for amusing self-awareness. An Argument With Myself's highlight is a plucky violin and finger-picked acoustic ode to actress Kirsten Dunst that offers a quick primer on the differences between Sweden and the U.S.: "VIP lines are not to the clubs but to health care, apartments, and jobs." — Chris Parker

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