I Know What Love Isn't

Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
Buy On
  1. Dec 21, 2012
    80
    Maybe it lacks the frenetic energy of Night Falls Over Kortedala, but I Know What Love Isn't is a great record in its own right, a showcase of Lekman's prodigious storytelling gifts that also makes an effort to connect those stories, and that music, into an emotionally resonant whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
  2. Oct 18, 2012
    80
    While Lekman certainly knows how to use a sample, it is his songwriting talent, his storytelling ability, and above all his remarkable emotional honesty that make I Know What Love Isn't the finest achievement of his career.
  3. Oct 12, 2012
    80
    I Know What Love Isn't is Lekman gracefully coming to terms with the breakup, and his lyrical and musical variations on this fixation keep the album compelling.
  4. Magnet
    Oct 4, 2012
    90
    This minor genius from Gothenburg hurdles over [the heartbreak record] as effortlessly and charmingly as his livelier material. [No.91 p.58]
  5. Uncut
    Sep 14, 2012
    70
    Snatches of flute, sax, and female vocal harmony vocals add sympathetic colour to these sad yet inquisitive songs. [Oct 2012, p.83]
  6. Sep 10, 2012
    70
    Jens sticks to what he knows, combining his spry guitar playing and razor sharp pop sensibility.
  7. I Know What Love Isn't is more than a great pop album – it's the most singularly rewarding statement from one of the more uniquely gifted songwriting voices of the past decade.
  8. Sep 10, 2012
    80
    The album is the result of its own thought process, and ultimately becomes the most revealing thing Lekman has written, even if it is his most succinct record.
  9. Sep 7, 2012
    77
    Even when he focuses his unflagging talents within fixed bounds, Lekman's still one of the most distinct and observant writers in indie rock today.
  10. Sep 7, 2012
    70
    I Know What Love Isn't turns out to be a graceful break-up album, one that eschews ugliness and rage.
  11. Sep 7, 2012
    70
    Through it all, Lekman's wit remains intact.
  12. 80
    I Know What Love Isn't is an endearing and guileful extrication of the learning process.
  13. Sep 6, 2012
    78
    I Know What Love Isn't is a master class in, if not getting over it, then getting on with it.
  14. Sep 4, 2012
    70
    Lekman has always had a neat turn of phrase, whether barbed, droll or plainly silly. Again, there's [sic] plenty of them here.
  15. Sep 4, 2012
    80
    I Know What Love Isn't is a classy break-up record rather than just a classic one.
  16. Sep 4, 2012
    90
    I Know What Love Isn't is Lekman at his finest, transmitting real emotion and humor in songs that are impossible to stop humming for days.
  17. It's a tougher listen than usual, but it's still laden with lashings of classic Lekman pop hooks and a vocal that's sweeter than a Swedish cinnamon bun.
  18. Sep 4, 2012
    82
    The record sounds crisp, expensive even, but it never sounds slick or soulless.
  19. Sep 4, 2012
    75
    He's produced a fine return to the public eye, one that doesn't enchant quite like his early material but resonates much deeper.
  20. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    As the title makes pretty clear, this is a break up record, weeping with Magnetic Fieldsy candid cynicism about love.
  21. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    By taking his time and falling in and out of love he ended up with I Know What Love Isn't, an album worth waiting another five years for.
  22. 80
    The album in a nutshell: a broken heart carried with poise, good humor and endless charm.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Sep 10, 2012
    10
  2. Sep 7, 2012
    9
    Each album of Jens' has taken me some time to fall in love with, but all this took was one thorough listen through. That's the thing aboutEach album of Jens' has taken me some time to fall in love with, but all this took was one thorough listen through. That's the thing about Jens, he's a grower - not a show-er. Full Review »
  3. Sep 4, 2012
    9
    Is funny but everytime i approach a new Jens Lekman album for the first hour i feel a bit disappointed...but then something start sneakingIs funny but everytime i approach a new Jens Lekman album for the first hour i feel a bit disappointed...but then something start sneaking inside my mind and memories and again i find his poetic so sophisticately naive that i start waiting for the next one. Full Review »