Night Falls Over Kortedala
(10.2007, Secretly Canadian)
I really enjoy Christmas music for some reason. Maybe it is the sentimentalism or the implied good nature that the songs promote or a combination of both. Whatever the reasoning, the music somehow manages to resonate optimism and with an almost supernatural charge, alters my mood to grinning contentedness. It is so cheesy though. Perhaps it is the great lengths at which the music is put away and its brief reappearance that allows it to be palatable or maybe it is just the subconscious realization of new toys that accompanies it. I bring this up because it is not even Thanksgiving yet and I already heard my first earfuls of Christmas music and I was thinking to myself (unable not avoid the happiness it produced), "this stuff is going to kill me before I make it to December 25th." It's a true silent killer, even though I love it, it's a drug and an overdose would induce madness. Though largely tangential, this is mostly what I feel about Jens Lekmans most recent release, Night Falls Over Kortedala. For some reason it resonates the same overwhelming, pompous joy that I get when I overhear Christmas tunes. Wildly over orchestrated and unashamedly cheesy, Lekman has managed an odd guilty pleasure. Where Lekman's previous release, Oh You're So Silent Jens managed to sidestep the guilty pleasure status, Night Falls Over Kortedala runs headlong into each track, shamelessly adding theatrical bursts of strings, horns, synths, bells, pianos and Lekman's own angel voice. The album is wonderful, always sparking smiles, even in its melancholic, love obsessed lyrics, and yet, if I tried to listen to this more than couple times a week I would probably go mad with an overdose of Lekman's dramatic charm. Still, it is a wonderful record while the charm lasts.