Kings of Convenience

Kings of Convenience

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While Kings of Convenience's self-titled debut shimmers with dreamy lyrics and soothing melodies à la Belle and Sebastian, it is ultimately an album that frustrates the listener with its unrealized potential. Songs like "I Don't Know What I Can Save You From" have airtight harmonies and warm lyrics that create a laid-back yet astute mood: "I realized that you/had changed into somebody for whom I wouldn't mind to put the kettle on." The band's unconventional lyrical approach -- words that make better letters than poems -- is matched by a keen sense of the subtle. The shame of the album is that the album never strays from its own aura. Every note is crisp and clear, but there are no alternate instruments; some songs beg organs or horns. Guitars dance around words deftly but only with strumming that is downright predictable. Repetition drags the album down, although their sense of melody is a saving grace worth every note. Think of this album as the Duncan Sheik record you're not ashamed to own, and then hope for the next record, when the music matches the maturity and intensity of the vocals.

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