Kings of Convenience – Declaration of Dependence Kings of Convenience – Declaration of Dependence

Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Dependence

Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Dependence

On Declaration Of Dependence, Norwegian lounge crooners, Kings Of Convenience, attempt to follow up 2004’s dinner party classic, Riot On An Empty Street, with an album of even barer acoustic tunes.

It’s been a steady journey for the Kings. Releasing their low key debut in 2001 to lukewarm reception, Erlend Øye went on to dabble in the DJ Kicks series of mixtapes, before returning to the sublime, (if a little samey) Riot On An Empty Street. He has since gone on to record two albums with his side project with electric guitars; The Whitest Boy Alive. The duo claim that the time spent apart has only served to convince them that they needed to make another record. They didn’t.

As mentioned, Declaration Of Dependence is even simpler than previous albums, as demonstrated on touching opener, “24-25” “She’ll be gone soon, you can have me for yourself”, the duo lament. The track builds to expected results, like much of the album, with familiarly warm bass notes and hazy picked acoustic guitar. It paints the desired picture though, transporting the listener to such a scene depicted in the albums artwork. Single and reminder that the Kings are back, “Mrs. Cold”, first plays as a welcome and familiar reminder into why Kings Of Convenience are so likeable. It’s simple, pleasant, inoffensive, and catchy. After several listens however……christ. “Hey baby, what’s going on.” These are the sorts of lyrics that old people make up in attempt to belittle popular music. It’s a far cry from Gold In The Air Of Summer.

The remainder of Declaration Of Dependence is much the same story. Without aiming for a cheap sneer, it’s hard to pick out individual songs to critique from an album that sounds much the same. Ok, Kings Of Convenience were never a band that aimed or indeed claimed to have pushed the envelope, but this is pretty uninspired. “Boat Behind” provides the usual string arrangement that hints at something more exciting than what you’re hearing, but it’s all standard fare. Thankfully there are highlights. Near the end of the album comes highlight track “Riot On An Empty Street”, delivering on the band’s early morning comedown sound without completely sticking to what hasn’t been done, by them, many times before. Hummed harmonic vocals and twinkling piano set the mood, and it’s obvious that they at least haven’t set out to make another tune for the lounge party crowd.

It was unlikely that a follow up from Kings Of Convenience follow up was ever going to be this generation’s Ok Computer, but they could have pushed the envelope a wee bit more than this, frankly. They’re a fun band; and for those moments when you’re still waking up or need a warm, soothing soundtrack to swirling your red wine/brandy, it doesn’t get much better than Kings Of Convenience. But why wouldn’t you just stick on one of their other albums instead?

Track Listing:
1. 24-25
2. Mrs. Cold
3. Me in You
4. Boat Behind
5. Rule My World
6. My Ship Isn’t Pretty
7. Renegade
8. Power of Not Knowing
9. Peacetime Resistance
10. Freedom and Its Owner
11. Scars on Land
12. Second to Numb
13. Riot on an Empty Street

Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Dependence , reviewed by Lemon on 2009-10-08T14:34:48-07:00 rating 2.7 out of 5

Comments are closed.