Boat Behind - Kings of Convenience, Berlolini, David
Rule My World
My Ship Isn't Pretty
Power of Not Knowing
Peacetime Resistance - Kings of Convenience, Berlolini, David
Freedom and Its Owner
Riot on an Empty Street
Second to Numb
Scars on Land
2009 release, the third album from the Norwegian Pop/Folk duo (Erik Boe and Erlend Oye). Declaration of Dependence is the story of two people living two very different lives sensing that they are immensely more powerful to... more »gether than apart. In that sense it is the most adult, the most mature record Kings of Convenience have ever made. That it is their most gripping, their most revealing is, if anything, just a by-product of that honesty and their endeavor. "Erlend is a very stubborn individual with extreme belief in his own ideas," says Erik of his partner. "He's very free and creative and his access to unusual and fresh ideas is very good. I find that quite unique. For some reason they are very similar to my ideas on music - we like the same unusualness."« less
2009 release, the third album from the Norwegian Pop/Folk duo (Erik Boe and Erlend Oye). Declaration of Dependence is the story of two people living two very different lives sensing that they are immensely more powerful together than apart. In that sense it is the most adult, the most mature record Kings of Convenience have ever made. That it is their most gripping, their most revealing is, if anything, just a by-product of that honesty and their endeavor. "Erlend is a very stubborn individual with extreme belief in his own ideas," says Erik of his partner. "He's very free and creative and his access to unusual and fresh ideas is very good. I find that quite unique. For some reason they are very similar to my ideas on music - we like the same unusualness."
"After checking every month for the last few years on an update for a new CD, Declaration of Dependence is finally here. After a few listens, pretty much what one would expect who has followed these two Norwegian guys. A few catchy tunes jump at you right away while others seem to be "forgotten". But over time, those "forgotten" tracks end up being your favorites off the album.
I was hoping for another Feist cameo or some other musician the Kings could introduce me to as they did Feist, but alas no. I do think the violin player is a full-time member now and a good one at that who fits the style and doesn't try to steal the show.
I will say this, if you haven't seen them live, they are phenomenal. I liked their first few CDs but after seeing them live, they went up to one of my favorite bands. Definitely one of the top 3 concerts I've ever seen. Take a bud or two to see them and they'll be instant fans. As of yet, there is no USA shows but they better get their arses over here!!"
It's great to have them back
giovanni | Greece | 11/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Geeky , polite and as sweet as two 6-month old babies , the Kings Of Convenience have won a special place in the hearts of their fans not only for their gentle melodies but also for the wonderful wonderful friendship they display on stage and during interviews . The norwegian Simon & Garfunkel as they are often called , their latest offering " Declaration Of Depedence " comes five years after their sophomore release " Riot In An Empty Street " and remains faithful to their already established sound .. which is a good thing !
It's amazing how rich a sound two acoustic guitars and two voices can produce . The mood here varies from happy ( " Boat Behind " ) to melancholic ( " Me In You " ) to zen-like ( the hypnotic " Scars On Land " ) while the band gives it's listeners lyrics that can be heartbreakingly beautiful ( " ...dreams burn but in ashes are gold " ) or in other occasions , playful and witty ( " we got four eyes so why yearn for one prespective ?.. " they ask , celebrating freedom of thought ) .
This might not be anybody's thing . Rebelious teenagers for example would probably seek for something angrier . This doesn't change the fact though that this is top quality songwritting . People who have enjoyed current pop folk artists before , people who cherished the work of let's say , Tracy Chapman , Suzanne Vega , Feist ofcourse , Jens Lakeman , Jack Johnson and Josh Rouse , will be delighted with this piece of music so well-crafted as an antique classic violin ."
The Kings Have Another Solid Album
Reviewer | USA | 11/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I argue that the Kings of Convenience never got their due in the States. The Kings have a unique sound--minimalistic in many ways but for some reason feels complete in song. The intricate harmonies, limited orchestration, and simple yet elegant music that the Kings have would get drowned out in the pre-teen pop, hard rock, and R&B that fill radio today. That, and their music and lyrics tend to feel like a light depressant and/or therapy for guys thinking about their former girlfriends. Not great for US radio play. But don't let that keep their good music from getting made.
Their latest album, "Declaration Of Dependence" is their first in five years. Over that time, lead singer (sort-of) Erlend Øye released a number of albums, including two with the great Berlin-based "minimalist rock" group Whitest Boy Alive. Eirik Glambek Bøe was less active musically. However, time doesn't have much of an effect on their music, as fans from their earlier albums "Quiet Is The New Loud" and "Riot On An Empty Street" will find the transition to "DoD" easy. I feel like DoD is more similar to some of the softer and tranquil songs of both albums. There isn't as much of a fast-paced effort that "I'd Rather Dance With You" or "Misread" have--this is more like "Parallel Lines" or "The Build Up". That being said, some of the songs they have promoted on their website ("Mrs. Cold" and "Boat Behind") are tremendously catchy and fill that need for a faster tempo, soft-rock (I hate to call it that) feel.
I find the songs on DoD beautiful in the same vein as their past albums but I wonder how often I will listen to them. Are they so likeable that I'll go through dozens of listens like in their past albums? I'm not sure yet, but I'd say that some of their songs are going to get that treatment more than others. The last songs on the album drag with their similarity and maybe I'll end up focusing on the first half of the album. And, that's okay by me. I'll save the full listen of the album for when I visit Scandinavia again. Why? Because this album feels like Scandinavia at its best--tranquil, classy, intelligent, and undeniably pleasant. I've been to a number of cities in Scandinavia, but not Bergen, and I bet if I took the train between Oslo and Bergen this music would fit perfectly with the scenery. Just buy the album and then hop on an SAS jet to Eirik and Erlend's home country. Take a listen as you ride around the beautiful scenery and you'll see what I mean. It's not a standout worth the 5 year wait, but it's still far superior to 99% of the music coming out today."
A Welcome Step Backwards
Kristian A. Strom | Andover, KS | 02/10/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the most part, "Declaration of Dependence" sounds like best buddies hanging out at a secluded European beach and playing a few tunes for their closest friends. Kings of Convenience's third album appears to have become the decidedly unplugged creative outlet for Norwegian boy wonder Erlend Oye, who also heads up Whitest Boy Alive, an excellent band in its own right. There is a noticeable lack of drums (and any clever studio trickery) on this album, although one could argue that these fellows strum their guitars with a percussive feel at times. Most of the songs follow the simple formula of one player strumming the percussive rhythmic chords with the other guitar running over the top with a pleasant riff, with an occasional string of violin or piano notes added to the mix.
The album starts off with the nostalgic "24-25" and picks up where "Riot on an Empty Street", the Kings previous album and magnum opus, left off- a soothing Simon and Garfunkel-esque vocal harmony over two gently plucked guitars.
Next up is the super catchy "Mrs. Cold," the standout track on the album. The tempo picks up a bit here, and if we were laying out on a chilly Icelandic beach on Track 1, the beach we are laying on here is more like Rio de Janeiro- warm and sunny, despite the title. This track also introduces the violin in the last few seconds, which is used sparsely throughout the album, most noticeably on "Boat Behind," another pleasant seaside ditty exploring the themes of independence vs. dependence. Nothing mind-blowing lyrics wise, but something every listener should be able to relate with.
"Me in You", the third track on the album, also introduces a bare bones piano (much less noticeable than it was on "Misread") and the pleasant female backing vocals we remember from previous albums.
"Rule My World" reminds me of something Oye would have penned in his younger days, and despite its mention "moral superiority" and of an "all-forgiving God / you claim that you believe in," has a slightly humorous feel when the chorus hits and they belt out permission for their female counterparts to rule their worlds.
After this track, the album begins to slow down a bit at the middle, and continues until the end, just like "Riot" did, which eventually closed with the epic "Gold in the Air of Summer" and "The Build Up." Although there is nothing here that rivals those two, and detractors of the album will claim the second half of the album is a bit of a bore, there is still plenty here to appreciate with a bit of patience. "Power of Not Knowing" will be a treat for fans of Nick Drake and "Peacetime Resistance" and "My Ship Isn't Pretty" continues the theme of "quiet protests against loneliness." Longtime fans of The Kings will also appreciate "Riot on an Empty Street", yes, the track title, and not the album, an apparent remnant track from years ago.
The Kings aren't breaking any new ground on this album, and perhaps it may have even been a step backwards, but in an era when voiceboxes, autotune and synthesizers are dominating the airwaves, I'm sure this is a welcome direction for many. I will continue to look forward to future projects, unplugged or otherwise, from Norway's musical golden child.
Standout Single: "Mrs. Cold"
For Fans Of: Simon & Garfunkel, Nick Drake, Belle and Sebastian, Jack Johnson's somber moments
#18 in My Top 25 Albums of 2009"
Thomas B Goodloe | Richmond, VA United States | 12/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For years I've been toying with the notion of liking KoC.. I've had a digital copy of "Quiet is the New Loud" for several years and would occasionally give it a listen. However, when I picked up Declaration of Dependence, my appreciation for them went to a whole new level. This is quite possible one of the most beautifully understated folk albums you'll ever here. Tranquil yet interesting, each song is it's own peaceful gem, yet as a whole the album fits well together.
For those who've never heard of KoC, the easiest comparison would be a sort of modern day Simon & Garfunkel. You get colorful harmonies (esp. the chorus on "Me In You"), passionate violin in "Peacetime Resistance", and intriguing rhythms in "Rule My World". Despite these citations, every song has something to offer.
A peaceful album full of treasures.. highly recommended!"