Top 50 Songs of 2012: #45, Sharon Van Etten - All I Can
We all make mistakes.
While I was reviewing Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten early this year, I had one of those terrifying nights where I felt like death was imminent, I’ve made so many mistakes in my life that I could never repent for and that my existence was ultimately meaningless. As a reflex, I ordered a pizza and some chicken parm from a local Italian restaurant around 1 am. Driving out to get my food, I heard this track and every quality of Van Etten hit me like a pile of bricks. I pulled over and wept. Whenever you get the chance, give this record a listen. I mean it in the best way possible when I say that I hope something like that happens to you too. It’s a beautiful catharsis.
Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn’t
Jenny called and told me about her latest admirer. Said someone should make a pamphlet called ‘So You Think You’re Love with Jennifer’
Like a lovechild of Morrissey and The Magnetic Fields, Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman is here to narrate, commentate and emote over the tragic, yet hilarious spectrum of love. His third record, “I Know What Love Isn’t”, serves the culture of love stories with a shot of dolor and a lot of heart. Plenty of landmark stories and lyrics are found here in Lekman’s overall discography: like the song “Every Little Hair Knows Your Name”, an irresistibly cute post-breakup homage to how every achievement after one’s departure falls in the shadow of their memory in miserable and intimate notions. Or “Become Someone Else’s”, a strikingly deep song that explores preconceived notions of a non-existent relationship which could only lead to damaging effects to one’s psyche. All of Lekman’s detailed lyricism comes matched with a highly engaging production style, a wide-ranged orchestral accompaniment deeply in the vein of Destroyer’s style. Overall, “I Know What Love Isn’t” is an exciting, enticing and accessible record that reveals itself layer after layer of intimate storytelling. Come to Jens with your troubles, concerns and heartache. With a scoop of whimsy and a mean skill for songwriting, he’ll come up with something gorgeous, hilarious and eternal. (8/10)
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