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Kings of Convenience — Peace or Love
(EMI EMICD 2038, 2021, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-10-03

Peace or Love Cover art

It’s been a good twenty years since Kings of Convenience made their first appearance with two albums and a collection of remixes all pretty much in the same year (2000-2001), then two more before 2009, then nothing since — until this latest release Peace or Love in 2021, and with a quick listen it seems this could have come out ten tears ago, after their previous Declaration of Dependence, that’s to say not much has changed in the interim. The Norwegian folk-rock duo continues their mellow and singer-songwriter style with heartfelt lyrics and soft calming voices and primarily acoustic instrumentation, though it seems their early sound, so derivative of Simon and Garfunkel, has been left on the wayside in favor of a more original style. The group primaries remain Erik Glambek Bøe and Erlend Øye, handling vocals and harmonies, all manner of acoustic guitars, nylon string guitars, occasional piano, and percussion, with help from Leslie Feist on two cuts doing harmony vocals, and additional players on viola, viola da gamba, upright bass, electric bass, marimba, and keyboards on this track or that, adding variety to the duo’s basic sound. Eleven cuts total, and given their relaxed and tranquil style it’s really hard not to like these guys, as they surely give it everything they’ve got to create beautiful and powerful songs. Peace or Love is a calming and reassuring album for anyone looking for brilliant songcraft, mellow yet tasty arrangements, an a repose from the stress of rock sounds.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Kings of Convenience

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