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Pop - Released June 18, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Though they never really went away, emerging for the occasional live performance or an ill-fated start at an album, Kings of Convenience -- the Norwegian duo of singer/guitarists Erik Glambek Bøe and Erlend Øye -- nonetheless ended up with a 12-year gap between their Billboard 200-charting fourth album (depending on how you count), Declaration of Dependence, and 2021's Peace or Love. The project's gentle, acoustic-centered approach and sophisticated harmonic textures don't skip a beat, however, on a set that connects the dots between wistful indie pop, airy, syncopated bossa nova, and singer/songwriter folk traditions. Some of the album's standouts include the warm, silky bossa outing "Angel," an eyebrow-raising, whispery ode to an object of affection ("Though she might be/Just slightly/Promiscuous"). The more somber opener "Rumours" showcases the duo's elegant vocal harmonies, while the melancholy, uncertain "Killers" relies on a solo vocal over their interlaced fingerstyle guitar lines. These are further highlighted by pair of duets with Feist; the spacious "Love Is a Lonely Thing" dispenses with vulnerable relationship advice as the singers trade lines, only coming together for the words "Once you've known that magic/Who can live without it?" Later, "Catholic Country," which was co-written with the Staves, offers further Gilberto-inspired stylings and a brisker tempo on a duet softly fleshed out by piano and percussion. While Kings of Convenience don't cover fresh territory with Peace or Love, they do what they do as impeccably as ever here and offer a handful of changeups and hummable tunes along the way. It should serve as a welcome return for any established fans. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2004 | Source UK

Riot on an Empty Street ends a long period of inactivity for Kings of Convenience. During their three-year layoff Erlend Øye could be found making solo records and DJing while Eirik Glambek Boe was finishing his psychology degree. Luckily for fans of beautiful vocals and thoughtful indie pop, they decided to get back together. What this band is all about is the sound of Boe and Øye's voices blended together in harmony. Their first album (in both incarnations) erred on the side of consistency. Here the band seems to have learned the all-important lesson of pace and variety. The arrangements are fuller too with pianos, strings, the occasional electric guitar, and lovely guest vocals on two tracks from Broken Social Scene member Leslie Feist. Not to say that they have gone crazy with change. They still stick pretty closely to the acoustic guitars and vocals path, and the tone of the album is autumnal and restrained as before. They have just added more songs like the gently driving "Misread," the lilting waltz "Stay Out of Trouble," and the downright peppy "I'd Rather Dance With You." Øye's side trip into electronica only rears its head on the non-electronic but modern-sounding "Love Is No Big Truth." No matter what the song, though, when their tender, fragile voices harmonize it can be breathtaking. And heartbreaking. The moment in "Surprise Ice" when Eirik is joined by Erland will raise goose bumps. There are many others like that on Riot, and they are what sells the record. If you sort of liked the first record but wished it was more interesting, that it had more punch of both the sonic and emotional variety, then your wishes have come true. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2001 | Source UK

Under an album title that practically became a mantra for the European music press, Kings of Convenience display everything that is right and everything that is wrong with the new acoustic movement. The duo employs their guitars to create touching ballads at will, but they forget to vary their pace at times. Quiet Is the New Loud is immeasurably gentle. Comparing the band to Belle and Sebastian and Nick Drake, as so many music critics have, isn't quite right. It's nearly impossible to find a hint of irony in the music of Kings of Convenience, whereas Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch seems to have his tongue firmly planted in cheek. Drake sought the mystical and natural elements of his short life to create his art. Kings of Convenience seem to merely seek calm moods and discuss relationships. Acoustic guitars are constantly rolling and a minimal piano plucks out delicate notes. The most interesting songs tend to be those where the band picks up their pace. "I Don't Know What I Can Save You From" is quite beautiful, as Erik Glambek Boe's vocals take on a charged immediacy. The song is reminiscent of the more pop-oriented sound Ben and Jason achieved on their excellent Emoticons album. "Parallel Lines" sounds more than a little like a slowed-down, sadder take on Morrissey's "Seasick, Yet Still Docked." If Quiet Is the New Loud had a quicker pulse, at least on a few more tracks, it would have been more successful. Instead, the album makes for an enticing, somewhat overly dour rainy day mood piece. © Tim DiGravina /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 27, 2009 | Virgin Records

In the five years since their last record, the duo of Erlend Øye and Erik Glambek Bøe have each been busy, Øye with DJ gigs and his other band the Whitest Boy Alive, and Bøewith his day job and fighting Clear Channel in their hometown of Bergen, Norway. Getting back into Kings of Convenience mode sounds like it was as easy as putting on a fresh pair of socks. Their third album, Declaration of Dependence, sounds like it could have been recorded at the same session as Riot on an Empty Street; it's just as relaxed, mellow, and dreamy. The pair's voices blend like honey and more honey, each of them possessing vocal chords made of cotton candy. They twine their voices around complex but warmer-than-a-Snuggie harmonies on every song; the comparisons to Simon & Garfunkel still hold up, though by now they really sound most like themselves, and not imitators. This album is sparser than the last; there are no guest vocals and very infrequent extra instruments (strings, piano). It gives the proceedings a very intimate sound, between this, the duo's hushed voices, and the peaceful songs, it's even quieter and more subdued than anything they've done so far. The mood of introspective reflection never breaks, and almost becomes unbearably powerful on a track like "My Ship Isn't Pretty." Bøe and Øye pull no punches and spare no emotions, they are skilled veterans who know how to format and pace an album. The only thing the record lacks is a song as catchy as "I'd Rather Dance with You," or any songs with drums. It's not really a problem, though, since the overall effect of the album's melodies adds up to something just as powerful. A few of the songs stand out as possible singles, too, like the bossa nova-y "Mrs. Cold" or the almost peppy anti-war song "Rule My World." The lack of drums isn't much of a problem,either, the acoustic guitars that underpin the songs provide all the rhythmic push they need. Adding drums might have spoiled the introspective and feather-light feel of the record. Anyone who's been on their bandwagon all along will be glad of that, as they'll rejoice that Declaration of Dependence turns out to be another autumnal treasure from the Kings. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2001 | Source UK

It is quite rare for a remix album to better the source material. Versus by Kings of Convenience is one of those select few. Their album Quiet Is the New Loud is a very pleasant disc, but the songs all begin to sound the same halfway through. That's not a problem here, as the various remixers take varying approaches to the Kings' hushed and nocturnal sound. They also keep enough of the band's essence so it sounds like a real record by Kings of Convenience and not some cobbled-together mess. (Only once are Erik Glambek Bøe's lovely vocals omitted, and that is on the very last track.) Some of the remixers take the electronic route: Röyksopp keeps the acoustic guitars and whispered vocal of "I Don't Know What I Can Save You From" and adds a perky bassline and loping looped beat; Four Tet alters the acoustic guitars into a blurred symphony of noise and adds a head-bobbing hip-hop beat to "The Weight of My Words," but keeps the melancholy gloom of the song intact. Some of the remixers take an organic route: Riton turns "The Girl From Back Then" into a smoky jazz tune complete with a Milesian muted trumpet solo; Alfie adds sawing cellos and huge, reverbed drums to "Failure"; David Whitaker doesn't alter anything, but adds a full orchestral string arrangement. The most successful remixes are those that throw the listener for a loop and do something unexpected: Erot actually makes "Gold for the Price of Silver" downright funky, adding a little '70s funk guitar strumming, heavy breathing female vocals in the background, and a groove that will have you up shaking it in no time. Evil Toredivel's mix of "Leaning Against the Wall" turns the song into a horn-driven, almost new wave stomper that wouldn't sound out of place on a Madness record. Ladytron adds a sense of urgent doom to their mix of "Little Kids," with the stuttering beat and sinister synths. They even throw in some tubular bells, and that is never a bad idea. If you liked the Kings of Convenience album, you'll find much to like here. If you a fan of remix albums, you'll be hard pressed to find a better one than this. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Pop - Released April 30, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Pop - Released May 28, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

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Pop - Released June 18, 2021 | Virgin Records Ltd

Though they never really went away, emerging for the occasional live performance or an ill-fated start at an album, Kings of Convenience -- the Norwegian duo of singer/guitarists Erik Glambek Bøe and Erlend Øye -- nonetheless ended up with a 12-year gap between their Billboard 200-charting fourth album (depending on how you count), Declaration of Dependence, and 2021's Peace or Love. The project's gentle, acoustic-centered approach and sophisticated harmonic textures don't skip a beat, however, on a set that connects the dots between wistful indie pop, airy, syncopated bossa nova, and singer/songwriter folk traditions. Some of the album's standouts include the warm, silky bossa outing "Angel," an eyebrow-raising, whispery ode to an object of affection ("Though she might be/Just slightly/Promiscuous"). The more somber opener "Rumours" showcases the duo's elegant vocal harmonies, while the melancholy, uncertain "Killers" relies on a solo vocal over their interlaced fingerstyle guitar lines. These are further highlighted by pair of duets with Feist; the spacious "Love Is a Lonely Thing" dispenses with vulnerable relationship advice as the singers trade lines, only coming together for the words "Once you've known that magic/Who can live without it?" Later, "Catholic Country," which was co-written with the Staves, offers further Gilberto-inspired stylings and a brisker tempo on a duet softly fleshed out by piano and percussion. While Kings of Convenience don't cover fresh territory with Peace or Love, they do what they do as impeccably as ever here and offer a handful of changeups and hummable tunes along the way. It should serve as a welcome return for any established fans. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | Virgin

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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | Source UK

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Pop - Released January 1, 2005 | Source UK

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Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | Virgin Records