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It’s been a long, long, long, long, long time since the last Jens Lekman record, Night Falls Over Kortedala, especially how he’d been utterly prolific when he first appeared in 2004. An Argument With Myself is a quick, breezy five-song EP that displays Lekman has lost zero ground in his years away, and hearkens back to his beginnings, when he released a handful of lovely extended play records. The title song, which starts off this set, is a jaunty up-tempo number that wouldn’t be out of place on a collection of obscure 80s pop songs, and though some of the melodies, such as on “A Promise” and “So This Guy At My Office,” feel built around Casio melody settings, it’s that voice of his, and his lyrical style, that saves it from being cliche. He’s lost none of the pop crooner skills; the comparisons to The Smiths and The Magnetic Fields aren’t so obvious anymore. It’s the little flourishes here and there, such as the trumpets on “New Directions” and the dulcimer on “Waiting for Kirstin,” that make these songs even nicer. Part of the reason for his absence was a move to Melbourne, Australia, and now that I think about it, this whole EP reminds me less of The Smiths and more of Melbourne’s own The Lucksmiths, and that, my friends, can only be declared a good thing. Welcome back, and here’s to hopefully not having to wait a long time for more!
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