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Friday, October 09, 2009

Kings of Convenience- Declaration of Dependence

On October 20, Kings of Convenience will release their third full-length studio album. Fronted by Erlend Øye, Kings of Convenience can be loosely described as the Norwegian Simon and Garfunkel. That is, until you get Øye on his own. And maybe that's what makes this duo both unique and more fantastic with each record they release.

Quiet is the New Loud
, their first record released in 2001, wasn't much to write home about. It had it's highlights, including the Apple-commercial-friendly single "Toxic Girl," but otherwise it was a pretty hollow acoustic record, lacking much of a rhythm/bass section at all. Their sophomore effort, Riot on an Empty Street, proved that the band could in fact reinforce their sound without losing the wispy playful melodies and syncopated rhythms that drew me to them to begin with. But what makes this duo so unique is Øye himself. A DJ by trade, Øye's DJ Kicks record is still one of my favorite DJ sets ever. It introduced me to Phoenix and Alan Braxe in one fell swoop. Who else can say that? Hopefully many of you, cause if you haven't heard that record, your life has a big hole in it.

And after listening to that record (and his only solo effort, Unrest) it's impossible to do anything but marvel at Kings of Convenience and the records they've produced. Declaration of Dependence doesn't forge any new ground per se, but it's just as spot on as anything Øye has had a hand in the past 8 years (and that includes the superb "I've Been Waiting So Long" on Korsakow's Ears, and the overrated "Poor Leno" on Royksopp's Melody A.M. (which, yeah, it's a great song, and it's been remixed ad nauseam, but Øye's presence is negligible at best.))

So even for the critics out there that will call this record a rehashing of Riot, it comes highly recommended here. Every album that's released doesn't have to be something new and different, it just has to pique your interest. This record does that and more for a new listener, opening up a veritable Dewey decimal system of Øye related songs, collaborations, and records.

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