Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Jens Lekman: Night Falls Over Kortedala [Secretly Canadian, 2007]
In a time when pop retro is split between neotrad rat-packers like Michael Bublé and faux-ironic blowhards like Richard Hawley, this Swede traffics in feeling. With their accented lyrics and melodies from wherever, his fact-filled love songs--foiled picnicker wakes up in a grubby ER with the girl whose sneak hug put him there, minor pop singer falls for the lesbian who enlisted him as her beard while fending off her father with auto-replies--seem completely innocent of the busy posturing of hepcats and blowhards. Loaded with talent, heart and personality, he's an eccentric who still thinks the world is his friend, and one more sweet argument for the civilized compromises of democratic socialism. A-