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Monday, November 5, 2012

247 Reasons To Go See Jens Lekman Tonight at the Fillmore

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

click to enlarge Jens Lekman
  • Jens Lekman

No one writes songs like Jens Lekman, the baby-faced Swedish singer-songwriter who's headlining the Fillmore tonight. Lekman expresses his heartsickness in details so personal and minute that his songs become superreal, almost comical in their trueness. His best songs are tearjerkers you can't help but chuckle through. And they sound gorgeous, too, led by Lekman's pristine voice and the lush orchestral arrangements that seem to expand and contract from massive to whisper-quiet.

See, for example, "The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love," a song off Lekman's excellent new album I Know What Love Isn't. All 247 words in the lyrics to this song tell the story of being heartbroken, yet a little optimistic -- but in such vivid detail that you feel friends with Lekman, entertained by him even as he works through his suffering. It's deeply sad in some places, but Lekman makes us smile by naming other things the end of the world is bigger than: "The Flatbush Avenue Target," "an iceberg," "the spider floating in your cider." By the end, we aren't just told that he feels relieved -- we're made to feel the lightness of his returning optimism along with him.

This is a lovely song, but it isn't a one-off highlight of Lekman's catalog -- the man has a dozen or more songs this rich, and a few that are even more exquisite. Still, the words to "The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love" do exemplify Lekman's unique talents. There are are lots of other reasons to go see him tonight at the Fillmore: he doesn't make it out to S.F. that often; he'll be playing with a full band; his last S.F. show was tainted by loud talkers -- but for now, here are 247 great ones:

"The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love"

There's got to be someone here tonight

Who can explain to me

How shadows can also shed a light

How they can outshadow

What happened between us and outline

The burnt ground beneath us

I need to be explained to

Over and over

How a broken heart is not the end of the world

Because the end of the world is bigger than love

I was in Washington D.C. for the election

And when they announced the results

I left the procession

Content in the world's direction

Tried to call you for an explanation

Of the distance to the star constellations

Or any explanation of

How a broken heart is not the end of the world

Because the end of the world is bigger than love

And it's bigger than an iceberg

Than the plume of a geyser

And it's bigger than the spider

Floating in your cider

And it's bigger than the stock market

Than the loose change in your pocket

And the Flatbush Avenue Target

And their pharmacy department

And it's bigger than our problems

And our inability to solve them

From Coney Island to Harlem

To the end of the world and back again

A broken heart is not the end of the world

The end of the world is bigger than love

-- @iPORT


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Ian S. Port

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