Album Review: Kings Of Convenience – Declaration Of Dependence [Source]
For this, their third studio album, Norway’s Kings Of Convenience show little innovation in terms of instrumentation, production technique or atmospherics. What the duo have developed though, is their songwriting method.
Whilst their first two studio efforts, 2001’s ‘Quiet Is The New Loud’ and 2004’s ‘Riot On An Empty Street’, left this reviewer feeling a little cold and what’s more, a little bored, ‘Declaration Of Dependence’ is a very different affair. At first listen the differences are barely discernible – a small guitar hook, a Parisian cello – but the album immediately feels far more accessible than its forebears.
To this end, tracks like lead single ‘Boat Behind’ reveal hidden depths (no pun intended). Whilst in lyrical content it’s fairly standard KOC fare (themselves, the fairer sex and their respective mistakes), melodically, the song feels far superior to much of the pair’s previous recordings, immediately reeling in the listener with it’s dual sense of intrigue and loss.
‘Mrs Cold’, in contrast, wags a knowing finger at a one-time lover, whilst bouncing along to a subtly Jack Johnson-inflected acoustic bossa nova.
Kings of Convenience are never going to win any prizes for innovation with ‘Declaration Of Dependence’, but what they have done is produce a collection of quietly crafted, tranquil pop tunes. It sounds like the album they’ve been trying to create for the last eight years and it is one that cements their position as masters of their own secret corner of pop music. It should do too – it’s taken five years…
Written for Rivmixx