I Know What Love Isn't - SECRETLY CANADIAN
FILTER Grade: 84%
By Laura Studarus on September 6, 2012
Despite having resided in a land of heartbreak over the entirely of his career—two full-lengths and a generous handful of EPs—Jens Lekman still isn’t prepared to offer any workable insights into the nature of love. “Sinatra had his shit figured out, I presume,” he moans on I Know What Love Isn’t single “Erica America.” Happiness on loan, wedged between world-ending heartbreak, green card marriages and recurring dreams, Lekman once again proves the obvious: that he’s not as self-assured as ol’ Blue Eyes—even if his silky croon may argue otherwise. But what could pass as a recipe for sad-sackery is saved by Lekman’s self-aware sense of humor, as he passes over where so many have trod before. “Someone should make a pamphlet called ‘So You Think You’re In Love With Jennifer,’” he self-mocks on “Become Someone Else’s” over a Paul Simon–worthy, piano and string-driven harmony. Despite Lekman’s dissatisfaction in romance, the 10 tracks work together to offer an elegant pop exploration on the topic. “You don’t get over a broken heart, you just learn to carry it gracefully,” he surmises on multi-movement number “The World Moves On.” A cold comfort, perhaps, but I Know What Love Isn’t is a master class in, if not getting over it, then getting on with it.