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4.7 out of 5 stars40
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 17 April 2002
This album is unusually beautiful. I came across King of Convienience by chance, and my music collection has been infinitely enhanced. Every track on this album is an absolute gem. People will at first make the inevitable comparison to Simon and Garfunkel, with moments of Nick Drake. Do not believe them. It cannot be pinned down. This album is a true lady and does not reveal her full charm at first. There is a hint of leg on tracks like 'Toxic Girl', and a bit of flirting on 'Failure'. Then you realise that 'Singing softly to me' is true love, (I have it on constant repeat), 'Summer on the westhill' is gorgeous, with pitch perfect voices. The starkness of their voices and guitars, and the occasional drum beat demands your full attention. The lyrics suit the music and the whole thing is...um...harmoniously divine! This is a must buy album, for anybody who likes good music. It can not be categorised, it is just perfect. Buy this album, Buy two in case something happens to one of them...Buy it!
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on 1 July 2002
By far one of the most beautiful albums i have come across. Comparisons to Simon and Garfunkel are justified to a certain extent, but the voices of Erlend Oye and Eirik Glambek Boe are, I feel, superior in that they have more richness of quality and are totally smooth to listen to.
The songs are perfect: hints of sadness, yearning, reflection and hope lie behind the lyrics. Oh, and speaking of the lyrics, these are completely beautiful and moving ("all the times I sacrificed myself to make you want me/has made you haunt me", "I will never know the names of these places that I travel through to reach the coastline/I've been told I will be there in time")
Outstanding tracks include "I Don't Know What I Can Save You From", "Winning a Battle", "Singing Softly To Me" and "The Weight of my Words".
Don't even stop to think - go out and buy this album now. You'll be blown away.
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on 16 August 2003
I am so glad I took a chance on this album and bought it, having not heard anything by Kings of Convenience apart from the vocal contributions on Royksopp's LP.
Here we have two sensitive, poetic boys armed with acoustic guitars and a whole host of lovely, dreamy melodies.
At times melancholic, there is still an underlying optimism which makes this album a comfort blanket if you're feeling down, and a fine, mellow listen if you're feeling happy.
I think it takes guts to strip right down, as these guys have, using tender vocals and brilliantly-played acoustic guitars to express these amazing songs.
Fans of heavier sounds might think this is twee or un-macho but, as they say, quiet is definitely the new loud. That takes real skill. Anyone can plug a guitar into an amp, turn it up to 11 and make an awesome racket. But who can write such quietly majestic songs on the humble acoustic guitar without showing flaws in their musicianship? The answer is: only the very finest musicians can do this.
There are the occasional drum touches here and there, even some brass, but overall the arrangements are quite sparse, and rightly so. It is perfect for their music.
If you like Nick Drake and Simon and Garfunkel then go get this album, you really won't regret it. It's like a warm cuddle at the end of a hard day.
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on 12 February 2001
A good piece of work from this Norwegian duo. Of course the Simon & Garfunkel comparisons are not fully justified, but there's some quality material here nonetheless. Songs like Toxic Girl and Failure are tuneful but a little smug: it's on the less ostentatious tracks, like Weight of my Words and Parallel Lines, that the album really rewards. The true standout, though, is the quite lovely Summer on the Westhill, redolent of Nick Drake in its vocal tone and pastoral reverie, with its yearning cello and haunting final refrain. This has to be a contender for song of the year already.
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on 22 July 2004
amazing, buy it. it's so subtle and low key and just damn beautiful. no poor tracks at all either. the harmonies are amazing, both the singing and the guitars. it's just beautiful, sometimes haunting music to be relaxed by. if you like nick drake you should like this. buy it
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on 21 December 2004
This is like the IKEA of music, which takes the Scandanivian philosophy of simplifying life down to what is needed. You can easily imagine the group sitting next to the lake on the album cover softly humming out their tunes together. Beautiful and inspiring, I love all the songs especially Summer on the West hill, which sums up travelling perfectly.
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on 23 July 2001
From the first moment I listened to this album I knew what I'd found was a very rare masterpiece. Although maybe a little extreme, the only talent that I can compare this work of art with is Nick Drake. Although the guitar arrangements are fantastic, this album could stand purely on the strength of the beuatiful melodies and perfect harmonies. To top it off, they are an outstanding duo live: not only for the perfect delivery of every song, they are also effortlessly charming and entertaining with their soft norwegian banter. I have seen them live twice now (Sheffield- supporting Low and Leeds-City Varieties)and can't get enough.....the 6 star category should be introduced for them. Roll on Mercury Music Prize.
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on 12 October 2009
One of the many great bands to come out of Scandinavia lately ( a region quietly creating one of the most interesting music scenes around ) are the Kings Of Convenience , a duo consisting norwegian singers-songwritters Erik Glambek Boe and Erland Oye . The chemistry of their friendship relfects on their work on this album , their first one on a major record company which includes a tracklist of well-crafted melodies , gentle and relaxed yet never light-weight . The witty lyrics meticously describe feelings and situations while the vocals remain calm and focused all the way through .

" Sex , Drungs And Rock'n Roll " this ain't since were're talking about a band who won't hesitate , in case someone doesn't call them cool , to declare they like to organize chess-championships inbetween gigs...and well, that's what makes them so cool afterall, at least in my book . The enigmatic tracks ( " Little Kids ", "Weight Of My Words " ) work as good as the happy ones ( " Toxic Girl ") yet the group is at the top of their game when they deceide to open up and reveal sensitivity and emotions like on the opening " Winning A Battle , Losing A War " or the impossibly beautiful " Summer On The Westhill ".

" Quiet Is The New Loud " is a record which , along with recent releases such as Beck's " Seachange " or the Kings' second offering , proves how far one can go just with an acoustic guitar and a lot of inspiration . A modern classic then , if there is such a thing anymore .
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on 6 January 2002
Yes- all of these but this album does hold its stand with grace. Beautiful songs that remind of the seventies with Simon and Garfunkel as the obvious starter.
If you do find it to sparse then you can always check out the remix album Versus. The same beautiful songs given more structure by the likes of Röyksopp and Four Tet.
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on 4 April 2012
It is their first album. And what an album it is!
This Norwegian duo has followed my relationships and provided me with a very touching soundtrack for my personal events.
From "Winning a battle, losing the war", a magnificent display of acoustic guitars mixing and soothingly telling the story of a man ready to do anything for a woman who is only a source of pain for him, to the more cheerful "Singing softly to me", of a love that is looking you in the eye and finally makes you open up, or from the wise song on "Failure", which encourages us to see the best in all our falls, the album is a quiet gem, with lyrics that leave an impact underneath your skin.

It does not leave a mark in the obsessive way some albums do, but it surely makes you listen to it on and on, especially because it is so elusive that it requires repetition.

Great for a sunny spring day, with thoughts of people you've loved on your mind.
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