A/V Room









Kings of Convenience - Riot on an Empty Street

Review: Jack Foley

THERE was a time when it seemed as though we may have heard the last of Kings of Convenience duo, Erlend Oye and Eirik Glambek Boe, following their self-imposed exile after the release of debut album, Quiet Is The New Loud, three years ago.

After a brief time sampling the club culture of Ibiza, Boe returned to university, in his native Norway, while Oye made a solo album and remained in and around the dance culture.

The days of Simon & Garfunkel comparisons seemed a thing of the past.

Fortunately, however, the duo chose to reunite, and, in Riot on an Empty Street, pick up pretty much where they left off, delivering another delicately beautiful, harmony-laden long-player, which effortlessly lightens the heaviest of moods.

Often hailed as the leaders of the new acoustic movement, the Kings of Convenience triumph so highly because of their ability to keep things simple.

There is a gentle, often subtle beauty to many of their harmonies, as best displayed in the former single, Misread.

And yet when they open things up a little, the tracks effortlessly seem to grow in stature, with trumpets and banjos coming to the fore.

The banjo, in particular, is used to memorable effect, and there surely hasn't been a better time for that particular instrument (given its use by everyone from Nelly Furtado to Travis).

Album highlights include Know How and The Build Up, which include some equally dreamy guest vocals from Leslie Feist, whose sweet style serves to chill the listener out even more (if that were possible).

Some may argue that the Kings of Convenience are too laid back for their own good, and just occasionally they can be found to be drifting (as in Sorry or Please), but there are very few genuinely laidback albums that can make you feel this relaxed about yourself.

You can see why their stint in Ibiza provided the clubbers with the perfect comedown, for this soothes as pleasantly as a good massage.

Track listing:
1. Homesick
2. Misread
3. Cayman Islands
4. Stay Out Of Trouble
5. Know How
6. Sorry Or Please
7. Love IS No Big Truth
8. I’d Rather Dance With You
9. Live Long
10. Surprise Ice
11. Gold In The Air OF Summer
12. The Build Up

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