Jens Lekman’s new record I Know What Love Isn’t is out this week, and on the whole it’s a pretty morose affair, as befits its status as a breakup album. Still, even on a record this subdued, Lekman’s signature humor can’t help but shine through, despite the fact that he’s left some of his funniest recent songs (namely “Waiting for Kirsten” and “An Argument With Myself”) off the tracklisting. The fact that Lekman’s songs are often as witty as they are moving is something that we’ve always liked about him — after all, love is frequently as bewildering, ridiculous, and, yes, funny as it is wonderful and inspiring, and love songs are a whole lot more effective if they eschew clichéd romanticism for realism. With that in mind, here’s a selection of wry, witty, and/or plain old silly love songs that make us laugh, starting with one of Jens’ best. Let us know your favorites in the comments.
Jens Lekman — ”Maple Leaves”
Lekman’s had more than his fair share of songs that manage to be both hilarious and moving: from “A Postcard to Nina,” which recounts pretending to be a lesbian’s girlfriend for the benefit of her conservative parents, to painting a bleakly funny depiction of depression (“The Opposite of Hallelujah”) and debating the wisdom of flying to Barcelona to see a girl (“I Don’t Know if She’s Worth 900 Kronor”). But we’re particularly fond of this classic, a portrait of cross-cultural relationship misunderstanding that ends with arguably the best Lekman lines ever: “When she talked about about the fall/ I thought she talked about Mark E. Smith/ I never understood at all.”