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quiet is the new loud
Kings of Convenience
Quiet is the New Loud
Astralwerks

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Turning to the tried and true theme of love (or rather, love lost), Kings of Convenience use their Simon and Garfunkel stylings to create what could be deemed a break-up album for the timidly lovelorn soul. It's for the kid who still cares so much about the girl who stomped on his heart that he just can't bring himself to think of any harsh words to throw back at her. He'll just sing sweet songs in hopes of getting her back.

Shifting from light and airy to a sort of mild bossa-nova groove on a few tracks, Kings of Convenience throw in just enough variation to keep things interesting, without snapping the listener out of the dreamy daze they've induced. Granted, the songs here are not necessarily uplifting, but they manage to squeeze in enough pop-flavored hope here and there as to not send you tumbling into complete and profound depression. The accompanying vocals are appropriately gentle, and the instrumentation is suitably warm, which further ties the whole package together.

Though they're spaced several songs apart, "Singing Softly To Me" and "The Girl From Back Then" are actually two parts of the same song. The former is a realization that the protaganist is indeed in love, and the latter reveals the fact that his realization came a bit too late. Isn't that just the way it always goes? Other mentionables include "I Don't Know What I Can Save You From", with its guitar hook that will replay in your head for days, "Failure", which slightly resembles an early Ocean Blue effort, and the magnificently hummable "Toxic Girl." There is just enough balance here to justify many repeated listenings...even on the days when love is good.

Editor's Note: If you purchased the Kings of Convenience's self-titled CD, released last year on Kindercore, you already own roughly half of the material on Quiet is the New Loud.

-- Amy Leach
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