Night Falls Over Kortedala

Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Pop is rarely as genuinely affecting, joyful or good as this.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    The album's sound is a swirl of sparkly '60s orchestration and horns--an achievement worth a thousands days of nights. [2 Nov 2007, p.63]
  3. 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.
  4. Night Falls Over Kortadela is witty, pretty, silly, and wise; and filled with instantly memorable melodies, thrilling moments of surprise in the arrangements, and laugh-out-loud lyrics.
  5. Along with wry, sometimes melancholic observations worthy of Richman or the Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt, these elements make for Lekman's best record, one likely to captivate even those who were skeptical of his previous releases.
  6. Lekman perfectly funnels his signature sound of gentle string and horn melodies, audaciously appropriate sampling, and often corny balladry into a well-oiled, 12-song machine.
  7. Under The Radar
    90
    Each song unfolds so effortlessly one imagines it springing forth, fully formed, with the same exaggerated inevitability of a cartoon bubble sprouting above his head. [Fall 2007, p.74]
  8. I think we should all be thanking our respective Higher Power right now that [Lekman's] hiatus was brief, because the album he would eventually make, the stunning Night Falls over Kortedala, is among the best of the year.
  9. Kortedala is a touch shy of a great album because Lekman's ornate tendencies towards full-on kitsch get the best of the still A-level songwriting.
  10. With such a sweeping sonic palette, it's a pleasant surprise that the record doesn't crumble under its own auspices.
  11. It’s pretty hard to turn down, just as his collection of self-referencing, string heavy ballads "You‘re So Silent Jens" was.
  12. For all the moments of heart-stopping splendour, the backing tracks sometimes sound as creaky as a "Prisoner Cell Block H" film set.
  13. Ultimately the Swede’s absorption into his own mind gives him the throat of a man who sounds in control. This control is one of the things that make Kortedala Lekman’s most assured, comfortable record yet.
  14. The Swedish indie-pop singer shows a remarkably keen eye for detail, finding surprising moments of sweetness, poignancy, and humor in a variety of situations.
  15. There are times when he seems on the verge of sounding as pretentious as the next indie rock darling ("I picked up a seashell to illustrate my homelessness"), but he always ends up knocking himself back down to earth, coaxing a smile out of his audience.
  16. The music is smoother and grander than before (it turns out orchestral disco suits him well), but he remains defiantly unabashed.
  17. 80
    Unlike other current heart-on-sleeve troubadours, Lekman uses his tender touch to brilliantly tease out the bumbling awkwardness that defines modern love.
  18. Spin
    80
    It's his so-twee-it-hurts delivery that'll make you feel you're at a roadside bingo hall in rural Scandinavia, waiting for someone to holler, "B8!" [Nov 2007,p.121]
  19. This is Jens Lekman, and what he does best is create overly-sweet pop songs, so it's hard to complain too much.
  20. This is a pretty great album, filler and all.
  21. His tunes, lusher and more layered here than on his previous efforts, can be just as peculiar as his tales.
  22. Magnet
    70
    A few demerits are warrented for pointless and distracting tempo changes in two of the album's most satisfying songs, but otherwise, the off-kilter, kichen-sink production works. [Fall 2007, p.101]
  23. He's still a little corny in parts, but it's outweighed by the genuinely sincere.
  24. It should all work extremely well to break Lekman beyond his current fan base of bored Sufjan Stevens fans waiting for Pitchfork to tell them what to like next.
  25. Uncut
    60
    Lekman makes the kind of Nick Hornby-ish "perfect pop" that no one actually listens to. Which is a pity, because his lyrics are Cole Porter witty, and his major-key songcraft delicious. [Nov 2007, p.110]
  26. Although there are a few individual moments where those qualities round-off and transcend any qualms anybody might have about Lekman's style, that style on its own, minus a map or even the faint corners of a box, can only elicit the slow smile of admiration, not genuine, passionate interest.
  27. Q Magazine
    40
    His knowing delivery is laboured and the relentless schmaltz proves difficult to stomach over a whole album. [Nov 2007, p.141]

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. GuyH
    Dec 6, 2007
    8
    Equal parts joyous and introspective - a strange combination that works in this case. Some of the compositions are so overblown that a lot of Equal parts joyous and introspective - a strange combination that works in this case. Some of the compositions are so overblown that a lot of people will dismiss this album instantly as just so much fluff. If it catches you in a particular frame of mind however. Full Review »
  2. RG
    Nov 27, 2007
    9
    The samples that lekman uses always somehow manage to get under and awaken my nostalgic side...his songwriting is refreshing and heightens The samples that lekman uses always somehow manage to get under and awaken my nostalgic side...his songwriting is refreshing and heightens that mood. it is a little odder- shifts in instrumentations - than his last effort 'when I said I wanted to be your dog', but it fits his delivery style. one of the best of the year. Full Review »
  3. JJ
    Nov 19, 2007
    9
    I can't stand that the negative comments say nothing... read the now magazine article.... 6 lines doesn't say anything about the I can't stand that the negative comments say nothing... read the now magazine article.... 6 lines doesn't say anything about the music or anything of substance..... It's not perfect and there are weak points but the least you can do is at least take the time to write a proper review at least the coke machine guy talks about the record... it's one of those love it or hate it records just because people have gotten in state of mind where if the hear extended melody their fuses just blow up... it's not about indie snobbishness my 55 year old father would love this record. Full Review »