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Riot on an Empty Street

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Audio CD, July 27, 2004
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Bergen, Norway-based indie pop duo Kings of Convenience teamed singer/guitarist Erik Glambek Bøe and guitarist Erlend Øye. After first earning notice thanks to a series of acclaimed European festival appearances during the summer of 1999, the twosome signed to American label Kindercore to issue their lovely eponymous debut the following spring. Quiet Is the New Loud was issued in ... Read more in Amazon's Kings of Convenience Store

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Riot on an Empty Street + Quiet Is the New Loud + Declaration of Dependence [Vinyl]
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 27, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B00026W82U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,400 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Homesick
2. Misread
3. Cayman Islands
4. Stay Out Of Trouble
5. Know How
6. Sorry Or Please
7. Love Is No Big Truth
8. I'd Rather Dance With You
9. Live Long
10. Surprise Ice
11. Gold In The Air Of Summer
12. The Build Up

Editorial Reviews

'The New Acoustic Movement' may have disappeared as quietly as it arrived but the legacy lives on in some of the biggest chart acts in the world today. Katie Melua, Damien Rice & their ilk have made gentle strumming & whimsy attractive & highly commercial - leaving their indie forefathers to scrabble for credibility. What place, then, for Kings Of Convenience in this new marketplace. Originators of this most delicate of genres, they produced one of 'The New Acoustic Movement's' defining records in their debut effort, 'Quiet Is The New Loud'. Having nearly lost Erland Oye to the dance underworld - Kings Of Convenience have reacquainted themselves with their roots to produce a sophomore effort that puts the Meluas of this world to shame. Opening with the Simon & Garfunkel-esque 'Homesick', 'Riot On An Empty Street' takes the listener on a magnificent voyage of intricate folk, shuffle heavy lounge & quaint indie & mixes them up on an album of wondrous charm. 'Riot On An Empty Street' is a joy from start to finish.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 61 customer reviews
It gets better everytime I listen to it...
Breanna Freeman
Id rather dance with you is one very catchy song very good and the others songs are extremely good the best cd of 2004 period.
A lovely melding of brushes and fingerstyle guitar, piano, violins and upright bass, blessed with beautiful harmonic vocals.
J. J. Bracegirdle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By majorka on June 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It must be tough to follow up a success such as "Quiet is the New Loud", and many people feared that Kings of Convenience would be a one-off as the band members each got stuck into other projects - Erlend Øye went solo with an ambient project, and Eirik Glambæk Bøe concentrated on his studies (in psychology, I think). But here it is: The long awaited follow up. And it's a very pleasant listen.
This sort of subtle, acoustic music never really goes out of style. You could just as easily give this album to your mother or even grandmother and they'd probably enjoy it just as much as you do (yikes!). That doesn't much sound like a good recommendation for a pop record ... but it is. The crisp clean production and first-rate musicianship makes this a treat to listen to, even though the harmonies are the oldest in the book, but also probably the most immediately pleasing for exactly that reason. This time the duo invite a French female guest writer and vocalist Feist for some variation - which works really well.
Take Simon and Garfunkel - add a bit of jazzy stuff here and there and a bit more melancholy in some places, and you have a pretty good general idea of what this record has to offer. I don't understand, though, why some reviewers find this only mopey - but then again I am familiar with Erlend and Eiriks home town where the weather is always rainy. We do nothing but stare out of rainsplashed windows all year (well, almost). And I know that this is when you want something as soothing as this on your stereo: While you make a cup of hot tea and read the paper, or invite some close friends around for a quiet, home-cooked meal. But it's equally good to rest your sleepy head to on a sunny, lazy summer afternoon: "Gold in the air of summer", indeed.
I'm also already waiting in anticipation for the Röyksopp dance remix of "I'd rather dance" - probably the catchiest uptempo tune on this record. (Röyksopp, can you hear me??)
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael Olshansky on August 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
In a day and age where musical artists come and go and pop acts are a dime-a-dozen, Kings of Convenience are a refreshing change of pace.

Beautifully minimal without the copious electronics, overdubbing, and processing that most music goes through these days, it's nice to hear a couple guys and a guitar making great music.

When I first heard them, I immediately though of Simon and Garfunkle in terms of their asthetic and songwriting similarities. These guys have a little more pop sensibility about them, as witnessed in tracks like "Sorry or Please", "Love It No Big Truth", and "I'd Rather Dance With You."

Like most great music I come across, I discovered these guys purely by accident. I found a remix of one of their tracks which of course lead me to check out the band's original work. I was immediately impressed with their lyrical, vocal, and musical sensibilities and have been listening to this album non-stop for days.

The only reason I gave this disc 4 stars was because there are 2-3 tracks that sound too similar to one another.

Check out the samples and you'll quickly see what a refreshing change of pace Kings of Convenience are. They come highly recommended.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Larry White on January 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Keep this to a hush, but there is a new, so far unnamed sub-genre in Rock `n Roll. We'll name it "Whisper Rock" and let the trendoids follow. It is basically self-explanatory. Pretty, understated, acoustic or quietly electronic music, whether upbeat or melancholy, with vocals rarely rising above the conversational tones of the late, great Mr. Rogers or Captain Kangaroo. This music may have its antecedents with the likes of The Fleetwoods or Donovan or, going back a bit further, 12th Century Monks, but it seems to have begat the recent likes of Cat Power and Iron and Wine and Belle and Sebastian and a slew of others including this Norwegian duo, Erland Oye and Eric Glambek Boe (those "o"s should have Scandanavian slashes through them) slightly better known as Kings of Convenience. These guys have written a batch of lovely, catchy tunes sung in graceful 2-part harmony in impeccable English, no less. The only additional voice is that of a female named simply Feist whose 2 small, sweet contributions certify the album as a keeper.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By 24/F Review on June 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The Kings Of Convenience: soulful, sensitive, Scandinavian (tick all that apply).
Norwegian duo Erlend ?ye (the earnest, bespectacled one) and Eirik Glambek B?e (the enigmatic, hunky one) channel Simon and Garfunkel in Riot On An Empty Street, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut Quiet Is The New Loud.
In fact, Homesick and Gold In The Air Of Summer capture the melodic spirit of the folk duo so uncannily and so beautifully, that for a moment I thought I was listening to the wrong CD. Either that, or to a Simon and Garfunkel covers band.
The gentle strumming of the acoustic, nylon and steel string guitars set the offbeat, folksy mood as the duo sing together, one 'high voice', the other 'low voice', of the usual melancholy and suffering for love and art, with cut-out-and-stick-on-your-fridge axioms like "a song for someone who needs somewhere to long for" (Homesick), "love is no big truth, driven by our genes, we are selfish human beings" (Love Is No Big Truth), and the "summer child that sits by the water, weaving sunlight threads in his hands" (Live Long).
Interspersed between the occasionally austere folk songs are fleet-footed melodies and whimsical words, but the messages remain consistent: gentle advice ("A friend is not a means you utilize to get somewhere", Misread) and sepia-tinted, idealised memories ("These canals, it seems, they all go in circles, places look the same, and we're the only difference", Cayman Islands). A guest appearance by the current-toast-of-Paris/Jane Birkin-look-a-like Feist on Know-How only cements the album's chic-ness.
The Kings Of Convenience have an undeniable appeal to those who adore fruit-infused tea, minimalist furniture and staring out through blurred windowpanes on dreary rainy days.
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