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Jens Lekman
WHEN I SAID I WANTED TO BE YOUR DOG
(Secretly Canadian)

Jens Lekman sounds like something that arrived on earth fully formed out of the head of Jonathan Richman. On When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog, the second of two collections of recordings the Swedish singer-songwriter committed to tape between 2000 to 2004 that were released stateside by the indie Secretly Canadian last year, Lekman shows off his graven baritone, pure pop instincts, and witty pop craftsmanship. His is a rather arch sense of humor. In "The Cold Swedish Winter" he observes, "When people think of Sweden, they have the wrong idea/Like Cliff Richards, who thought it was just porn and gonorrhea." Heís less playful but just as at home in "You Are the Light," with its happy and horny í60s Bacharach production and its buoyant, infectious romanticism. Lekmanís inexperience reveals itself only when he gets a bit too twee, as he does on the goofy "Tram #7 to Heaven" and "Happy Birthday Lisa." But heís a born charmer, and he uses his personality to good effect throughout When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog.

(Jens Lekman performs this Friday, February 11, at P.A.ís Lounge, 345 Somerville Avenue in Somerville; call 617-776-1557.)

BY ELISABETH DONNELLY


Issue Date: February 11 - 17, 2005
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