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Kings of Convenience Peace or Love EMI


After three albums’ worth of undemanding and pleasant folk-pop, Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience return after a decade-long hiatus with another set of, well, undemanding and pleasant folk-pop songs. 

The pair’s first LP since 2009’s so-so Declaration of Independence was recorded in five cities over five years, but nothing about the resulting regularity of the record suggests any kind of cross-cultural moments of artistic revelation. If you like your pop music hushed, stately and custom-built for coffee shops and secondhand bookstores, you’ll find plenty to enjoy on the group’s fourth album.

Even if nothing on Peace or Love quite hits the winsome highs of early classics Toxic Girl, Misread or I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From, the likes of the Balearic-tinged Catholic Country, and Comb My Hair with its sumptuous lattice-work guitars and close harmonies, are evidence enough that when it comes to a particular sound and mood, Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe are unmatched. 

Peace or Love certainly won’t change anyone’s life, but anyone looking to soundtrack an early morning cycle through dew-dappled woodlands is in for a treat. And yes, I think this is what they call damning something with faint praise.