Kings of Convenience
Kings of Convenience
2000 | Kindercore Records
Here is my review of the amazing Norwegian band, Kings of Convenience and their title album: Kings of Convenience
At the turn of the millennium, a duo of young men emerged from the chilled shores of Norway. Armed with only 2 guitars, a deceptively tongue-in-cheek name and a pocketful of infectious songs, they began to take on the world – one soft-spoken, airy-harmonized word at a time. Thus began Kings of Convenience.
Thank God for Scandinavians and the music they give to the world!
Fast forward to the present—the Kings’ conquest has progressed to signing on with Source Records (le petit-frere d’Astralwerks en France), and led to the release of two acclaimed full-length albums (2001’s Quiet is the New Loud and 2004’s Riot On An Empty Street).
However, there was a time between their beginning and soon-to-come success when the Kings would release a subtly brilliant and dulcet self-titled album. While their subsequent work has not veered from the quality of their initial effort, Kings of Convenience is the band’s uniquely innocent, mood-setting first statement. It is a steady stream of ten songs that lull the listener into thoughtfulness and rest.
Eirik Glambek Bøe and Erlend Øye chose a band name that refers simply to the convenience of being in a band made up of themselves and their guitars. The album is made up of lush acoustic numbers replete with catchy, communicative melodies and creative harmonies. The two guitars are played with precision; intricate parts woven together to make an extremely steady (almost machine-like) backdrop to the songs. These driving (but still very gentle) guitars, along with sparse drums are juxtaposed against the two warm, unalarmed voices. Not warm like sexy, beckoning bedroom voices, but warm like the steam from a fresh cup of tea.
In fact the whole album falls nicely under that same description. Kings of Convenience is tasty tea. It is gentle and unassuming - easily unappreciated in the business of life; but if one stops and savors it, the King’s first album brings pleasure and comfort. Turn it on and lay down to sleep, talk to an old friend or simply listen to Bøe and Øye strum away and sing their well-chosen words (an eloquence that can only be derived through singing in one’s second language).
Be warned: the Kings of Convenience are out to pacify you with their music.
While many of the songs on Kings of Convenience were re-recorded for their first major-label album, Quiet is the New Loud, there is a unique quality that the Kings achieve on their debut that cannot be (nor should be) duplicated. It is the beauty of a newly-formed duo stepping out with confidence and talent. A young norwegian Simon & Garfunkel on a lazy afternoon. The kind of album that makes one proud of the success that they have since achieved.
- Toxic Girl (track 1)
- I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From (track 2)
- Brave New World (track 5)
- Winning a Battle, Losing a War (track 9)