For Kings of Convenience, it sure is hard to put out an album. Declaration of Dependence is the Norwegian indie-folk duo's first full-length offering since 2004's critically acclaimed Riot on an Empty Street.
The duo has split-up, reunited, been on hiatus and toured infrequently, but when they do find the time to make music together, Erlend Ã˜ye and Eirik Glambek make it well. Their Simon and Garfunkel-tinged minimalist style suits the melodramatic pair best on the track "Power of Not Knowing." The album's warm harmonies and plucky guitar puts listeners on a beach at sunset while the search for meaning who-am-I, who-are-you and-where-do-we-fit-in lyrics flow calmly and quietly.
Missing from Declaration is a catchy hit, but the duo seems more content on answering their core cult following with soul-searching substance than the fringe listeners who got on board after hearing the radio friendly "I'd Rather Dance With You" from Riot.
While the Kings have delivered with an emotionally raw effort like they haven't skipped a beat in five years, there is the question of how much emotion their fans are willing to invest in them. Unreliably brilliant, the King's are that boy or girl easily hated because they are never around when needed, but when they are, it's hard to remember why people were making such a fuss about them.