The word I most readily associate with Jens Lekman is "charm." Everything about the unusual Swedish singer-songwriter exudes charisma, from the coy, confident way he carries himself to lyrics that bare his soul without overbearing me. He has this way of blending bluntness and subtlety in his songs ("She said that we were just make-believe/ But I thought she said maple leaves"), and he can communicate a sense of humor and a profound sense of sadness at once without compromising either. His music, a pop collage equal parts modern and classic, explodes with charm too. A tendency to wear his influences on his sleeve-Morrissey, Jonathan Richman, Magnetic Fields, Belle and Sebastian-somehow doesn't detract from the incredibly personalized vision he conveys on his records.

The word I most readily associate with Jens Lekman is "charm." Everything about the unusual Swedish singer-songwriter exudes charisma, from the coy, confident way he carries himself to lyrics that bare his soul without overbearing me. He has this way of blending bluntness and subtlety in his songs ("She said that we were just make-believe/ But I thought she said maple leaves"), and he can communicate a sense of humor and a profound sense of sadness at once without compromising either. His music, a pop collage equal parts modern and classic, explodes with charm too. A tendency to wear his influences on his sleeve—Morrissey, Jonathan Richman, Magnetic Fields, Belle and Sebastian—somehow doesn't detract from the incredibly personalized vision he conveys on his records.

The man has a gift, and it was on full display last night at the Wexner Center's black box. Lekman and his all-female band (plus a guy* who triggered samples from his laptop) bounded through his three-album catalog. There was, of course, a little preference toward tracks from the newish Night Falls Over Kortedala, but plenty of solid older selections such as "Black Cab," "Maple Leaves," "You Are the Light" and "A Higher Power" made the cut as well.

It's easy to imagine Lekman entertaining friends in a living room for hours; one gets the impression that he'd shine brightest in that context. But he did just fine on the Wexner stage. As Lekman let loose with his distinguished croon and showed off a surprising level of guitar skill, the band and the computer lent pomp and circumstance to his songs. A bassist and drummer provided the power; a cellist and violin player added the grace. One occasional but highly irritating snag: Sometimes the band's rhythm would get out of whack with the steady, pre-recorded samples—not much, but just enough to notice. It bugged me enough that I think I probably enjoyed Lekman's fine performance less than everybody else in the audience, most of whom were trading gushing reviews after the show.

Perhaps the best part of the show was getting to hear Lekman's stories about his songs. I knew the basics behind "A Postcard to Nina": Jens goes to Berlin to visit his friend Nina, only to discover that she needs him to pose as her fiance so her traditionalist father doesn't find out about her lesbian lover. But hearing him retell the story in detail added even further depth to the tale, even lending emotional power to what seemed like a cute, funny tale. Even more touching was the background on "Shirin," Lekman's ode to his former hairstylist in Gothenburg's run-down Kortedala district.

The most disappointing part, aside from the occasional rhythmic discord, was that the show's most magical moment came in the second song. Lekman ditched his guitar in favor of a keyboard and led the band through a rousing rendition of "The Opposite of Hallelujah." Near the song's conclusion, the singer stepped in front of his keyboard to finger-conduct a sample from "Give Me Just a Little More Time," then let the canned track give way to a beautiful full-band climax led by the string section. It was a glorious peak, but peaking early is never good.

That's not to say the rest of the show was a letdown, exactly. The band played great song after great song, Lekman told his stories and the crowd was wowed. The whistle-filled solo take on "Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo" was an excellent cap on the night, one last reminder of Lekman's allure and what a wonderful time it would be were he ever to show up at your campfire, guitar in hand.

*Originally, my review said the man with the laptop was the guy from opening act Honeydrips. As a commenter pointed out, this was a different musician.