Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Declaration of Dependence
After listening to their third album, it's tempting to say that Kings of Convenience have come a long way since "Riot on an Empty Street". But that expression implies improvement, and "Declaration of Dependence" isn't so much an improvement on Eirik and Erlend's first recording as a very natural and organic development. They've grown older, and the subject matter of their lyrics has widened to incorporate politics and morality ("Rule my World"); life-philosophy, complete with a reference to Plato's Cave Allegory ("Freedom and its Owner); and something more indefinable and mystical that used to stop at actually permeating the duo's lyrics ("Scars on Land"). They're also more comfortable playing with silence and sparse arrangements - "My Ship isn't Pretty" is more understated than anything from the past two albums. But there's nothing in this development that jars with the spirit of their earlier work. Eirik's innocently vulnerable voice makes as much sense in this bleaker, older territory as it did in the thwarted love songs from "Riot", and the guitar composition is typical Kings of Convenience (you get the feeling they could keep this up for several more albums without repeating themselves). In short, "Declaration of Dependence" is an extremely satisfying and delicate album that somehow manages to flow seamlessly out of KOC's previous work whilst taking on new musical and conceptual concerns. It's also my favourite album in quite a long time.
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You can also get their albums at JB HI-FI and all the mainstream online stores.