Personnel: Jens Lekman (vocals, guitar); Ellen Hjalmarsson (violin); Mikaela Robsahm (cello); Bjorn Almgren (saxophone); Stefan Sporsen (trumpet, alto horn); Marcus Cato (trumpet); Petr Noos Johansson (trombone); Lars-Erik Grimelund, Ben Swanson (drums); Ulrika Mild, Lilian Olsson, Emma Bates (background vocals).
Issued in 2004, WHEN I SAID I WANTED TO BE YOUR DOG introduced the world to Swedish indie-pop singer-songwriter Jens Lekman. A deep-voiced crooner in the tradition of Scott Walker and Morrissey, Lekman opts for a gentler though often no less witty approach than his renowned precursors, gilding his tunes with carefully placed samples and delicate string passages, creating a thoughtful aesthetic somewhat akin to Belle & Sebastian. Highlights of this assured first full-length outing include the nearly a cappella "Do You Remember the Riots?"; the gloriously horn-laden "You Are the Light (By Which I Travel Into This and That)"; and the lilting original version of "Julie," which appears in slightly remixed form on DOG's follow-up, OH YOU'RE SO SILENT JENS. While the latter record features a bit more verve (and a notably longer track listing), DOG is nearly as impressive, and essential for any aficionado of smart, sensitive Scandinavian pop.
What the critics say...
Uncut (p.108) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[S]uperior fare. Both vocally and lyrically, there's much of Stephin Merritt in the hangdog croon and deadpan wit..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.103) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]here's little not to love about these bittersweet vignettes."
- Tram #7 To Heaven
- Happy Birthday, Dear Friend Lisa
- Do You Remember The Riots
- Are You The Light (By Which I Travel Into This And That)
- If You Ever Need A Stranger (To Sing At Your Wedding)
- Cold Swedish Winter
- When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog
- Higher Power, A