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4.5 out of 5 stars27
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 11 June 2004
This is one of the most beautiful albums I have heard in a long time. I've had the pleasure of listening to an advance copy and it's just mind blowing. It takes Quiet Is The New Loud on 50 fold, with Misread, Cayman Islands and I'd Rather Dance With You as standout tracks and Homesick, Sorry or Please and Stay Out of Trouble millimetres behind in terms of loveliness. Their wordplay and acoustic melodies throughout are like nothing you'll hear anywhere else, and it's great to hear Leslie Feist. Homesick sounds JUST like Simon and Garfunkel when you first play it and you almost have to check the box to make sure you haven't slipped one of their albums in by mistake. If you don't buy another album all year, then buy this. Stunning.
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on 24 June 2004
A triumphant return from the Kings here on this their follow up to the outstanding album from the 'new-acoustic movement' in 2001 entitled 'Quiet Is The New Loud'. If you've already got that (and you should have), then this is a treat.
Simply, this is more of the same. Great melodies and some instantly catchy material that is so carefree and floaty that it is now a unique attribute of their music.
The one difference is a more Americana sound emerging on some songs. This is best highlighted by the superb 'Love Is No Big Truth' that has shades of Blur's 'Think Tank', Lambchop's 'Up With People' and a bit of Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev thrown in too. However, it still sounds distinctivly like a Kings tune. In addition, the pace of some tracks are more urgent than on QITNL. 'I'd Rather Dance With You' has hints of Moloko's 'Familiar Feeling' without sounding over-produced. This is probably Erland's influence from his dance excursions in the last couple of years. Personal favourites would have to be 'Homesick', 'Misread', 'Cayman Islands' (truly beautiful) and 'Gold In The Air Of Summer'. All are more traditional Kings tunes really.
So, a welcome return and you don't really realise how good they are until you don't hear from them in a while. Still an under-rated and under-exposed treasure for fans of quality songwriting. Forget Franz Ferdinand, this pair the real girls favs. This is the audio equivalent of getting in touch with your feminine side!
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on 10 December 2004
The 'New Acoustic Movement'- for those who don't remember- was a failed genre revival by the NME, which is now swept firmly under their crowded rug. Needless to say, most of the acts are probably back in their pre-folk star office jobs, with the exception of breezy songsmiths Turin Brakes and this lot, a kitten-soft, Simon and Garfunkel-esque Norwegian duo. Since their debut, Quiet Is The New Loud, quietly barged its way onto every self-respecting hipster's coffee table, Eirik Glambek (the cool one) and Erlend Oye (the geeky one) have kept themselves busy by organising superb remix albums, making so-so solo albums and opening the doors for Norway's new musical elite, such as mega-selling chillout act Royksopp.
Riot On An Empty Street is QITNL's much-anticipated follow-up proper. It treads the exact same ground as its classic predecessor: hypnotic acoustic guitar lines, fluffy nice-boy vocals and a Twee Factor to rival Belle And Sebastian. The only exception to these three rules is red herring single I'd Rather Dance With You, which comes equipped with drums and a delightfully uncool retro beat. The lack of pace-change may cause sniggers from alt.rock's too-cool-for-school community, but no one can deny how irritatingly listenable these songs are, even if the final three songs all seem rather superfluous. But like the cream of the singer-songwriters and über-quiet neo-folkies, Riot On An Empty Street is far from just mood music. Glambek's gorgeous voice could calm any stressed soul, but some of his tales of lost love are genuinely sad. 44 minutes of gentle, boundary-conforming acoustic music may seem like hell for those with short attention spans, but after multiple plays, your indie-snob doubts will vanish. A truly lovely set of songs which deserves far more than the occasional spin at a dinner party.
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on 6 August 2004
Everyone should buy this album because it's just amazing. Then when you have listened to it, buy Fiest's album (the woman who features on ROAES) because thats brilliant as well.
'homesick', 'know how', 'love is no big truth' and 'the build up' are my favourites, but the whole album is great. I found 'live long' and 'stay out of trouble' took a little while to grow on me but that is the only thing i can find to say is wrong about this album!
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on 11 July 2007
A friend from Amsterdam played Cayman Islands one of the beautiful songs on this gem of an album 'Riot on an Empty Street'. My partner and I were immediately entranced by the sheer melodic warmth of these two Norwegian guys.
Who would have thought that two strumming guitars and a couple of voices could send you into a blissful state, the occassional backing vocals from a female voice lend 'sheer simplicity'to a couple of tracks.

Simon and Garfunkel do spring to mind but The Kings really are no copy cat band. Their lyrics are intelligent, witty and the molodies addictive. You will be singing every song in your head after a few plays.

My Dutch friend kept saying the word 'Gezelligheid' (pronounced hezellik) on being asked what it meant he struggled and said it is more of a feeling like coziness, warmth the feeling of being inside next to a fire when the snow is falling outside.
This album is more of a feeling - experience it, you will not be dissapointed.
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on 1 August 2004
Another fantastic album from the Kings of Convenience. Couple of tracks stand out for me, "The Build Up" (the female vocalist has an incredibly haunting voice) and "Misread" (bit of a grower). One of those rare cd's that doesnt require the use of the fast forward button. Highly recommended
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on 1 July 2004
The Kings Of Convenience are back with an album even more magical than the first. It follows on from their debut 'Silence Is The New Loud' maintaining it's beautiful acoustic melodies, warm harmonies and lyrics which touch you in a way you'd think impossible. Absolutely perfect for chilling to on those late summer evenings......I can't recommend this enough!! Add to shopping basket NOW!!
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on 15 June 2004
Just listened to the new album twice over and very pleased to hear the boys back (been a long wait!)
Ok this is not "Quiet is the new..." but it was never going to be - that album is in my top 10 of all time.
What we have here is a nice collection of easy tunes that sound brilliant on the M6 in rush hour or lazing by the pool in the heat of summer - no stand out track for me yet although "Cayman Islands" growing on me day by day.
If any criticism to be made they are sounding more and more like Simon and Garfunkel if you can call that criticism!
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on 8 June 2005
Oh my soft Scandinavian boys - peering distractedly up from their guitars or goofing around on the dance floor, all Elvis-legs and Pulp-Fiction fingers. Here's a toast to you, you geeky-chic groovsters.
People from more southern latitudes will probably talk about Nordic melancholia when they listen to this latest offer from the mellow Norwegians in Kings of Convenience, but I just hear the soundtrack of tea-drinking afternoons after school back in the early nineties. Everybody loved Britpop, but in a polite non-Oasis-like way, and wore doc marten's and Alice bands.
But it seems that the Kings were looking to America instead, with a benign Simon & Garfunkel spirit floating all over these tracks. At times, the lyrics even poke fun at this obvious influence - "two voices blended in perfect harmony on this record that I found", they hum post-modernly on the opening track "Homesick". Aha! A great way of disarming your critics, isn't it? They're clever lads, the Kings, and they go on to prove it with a number of rather lovely low-key songs.
The guitar is the number one instrument here, but sometimes there's a bit of trumpet or some velvet-handed drumming going on as well. Perhaps they lack those super-glue tunes that Paul Simon could churn out for breakfast, but the gentle charm of their mumblings more than makes up for it. The lyrics single out small, everyday moments we all recognise. "Know-How" nails that feeling of returning to a place you have left behind - isn't a line like "the scene of my old life meets the cast of my new" class? And the singer in "I'd Rather Dance With You", I've met him, he's that guy you get a fleeting connection with by the stereo at a party: "'l'll make you laugh by pretending to be the guy who sings, you'll make me smile by really getting into the swing"...
I have to admit that something cloying creeps into this music if you overdose on it. Can't we get at least ONE rock'n'roll growl to break up the ongoing placid humming? Oh no, we can't - and maybe the boys are right to deny us any quick relief. "Quiet is the New Loud," they proclaimed confidently with their first album, and they're still sticking to the manifesto. It reminds me of those French boys in Air, who are sneering at the conformity of conveyor belt rock rebels who dutifully trash hotel rooms and drive limos into pools. "Rebels wear cardigans", is their slogan, one that I'm sure The Kings of Convenience would be happy to adhere to.
Further investigations into Scandinavian daydreaming: "Veneer" by Jose Gonzales, "When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog" by Jens Lekman. Both fine musicians, it's not their fault that they look so gorgeous.
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on 11 April 2013
Was shopping in Bath when i heard their music playing - went home and orderd it - was not disappointed as their musical theme/style is true throughout the CD (sometimes you hear one track and the rest of album is completely different).Loving them -well done boys
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