Life Will See You Now
Feb 17, 2017 Issue # 59 - 15th Anniversary
Find It At: AMAZON
Snapping with flashlight disco, percussive tropicalia, palpable visuals, and devastating pomp, Jens Lekman opens the curtains to life's generous swimming pool with his signature singular musical contemplation and invites us to splash around on the ebullient Life Will See You Now.
"To Know Your Mission" frolics in jingling bells as happy as a holiday ham while questioning, "What are we here for?" Though there is never an answer, there is this: "In a world of mouths, I want to be an ear." This, like so many of his confessions, has the marvelous capacity to create immense joy and devastating sadness within us.
Evening Prayer" is a delightful head-scratcher with Lekman's dark humor resonating as he discusses a friend with a tumor, facing his fear via a print-out of a plastic model of that tumor. "Hotwire the Ferris Wheel" reads right. It is bizarre fun, as it seethes with electro-blips, angelic plucks, and backseat-of-the-car bass. The honey of Lekman's voice convinces us to hop the fence with him.
In "What's That Perfume That Your Wear?" marimba tones, wooden percussion, shakers, and horns palpitate in unison. We can smell it, we can hear it, we can feel it, and most importantly, we can dance to it. Strings peak out, and the whole party starts over.
There are moments when the time for splashing passes. On "How Can I Tell Him," Lekman ponders the intricacies of deep-seated gender roles and his sorrow over not being able to tell his friend he loves him. He still doesn't find a way to do it, and perhaps this is what makes Lekman such an apt observer of life—his participation in it. He interacts intimately with life's curiosities, and is able to frame passing enigmas, like a misbehaving broadcaster showing us everything we aren't supposed to pay attention to. And it's the Lekman way. Life's pool is not as simple, and it's not as pure as we had hoped. But it is worth getting in, and as he always does, in his spindrift way, in soggy clothes and with a rueful wink, Lekman makes a case for splashing about lightheartedly. He manages to do so while reflecting wholeheartedly.
"Postcard #17" is the landmark of the album. It tempers along gorgeously while repeating piano, fleshly and electric claps, and naked percussion merge under an expansive musical skyway. Lekman's cheekiness is replaced by confession, his observations by contemplation.
Life's not all strange and beautiful, but it's more strange and beautiful than not, and in Lekman's pool that truth overturns everything. And seeing him see what he sees-now that's an album. (www.jenslekman.com)
Author rating: 7.5/10
Average reader rating: 8/10
- Nine Albums Out Today Worth Hearing: Gorillaz, Feist, Mew, Sufjan Stevens, and More (News) — BNQT, Feist, Gorillaz, Juliana Hatfield, Little Cub, Mew, Sufjan Stevens, Sylvan Esso, Thurston Moore
- Speedy Ortiz Covers TV on the Radio’s “Young Liars” for Planned Parenthood Covers Album (News) — Speedy Ortiz, TV on the Radio
- Waxahatchee Shares “Silver (Demo)” for “Our First 100 Days” Anti-Donald Trump Project (News) — Our First 100 Days, Waxahatchee
- Sufjan Stevens Announces Mixtape Featuring “Carrie & Lowell” Outtakes, Remixes, and Demos (News) — Sufjan Stevens
- Tribeca 2017: Brian Shoaf and Zachary Quinto on “Aardvark” (Interview) — Zachary Quinto, Brian Shoaf