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Monday, July 28, 2014

Kent - Kent


Since people just make up narratives for their reviews all the time, I'll start this Kent review series with my own:
Near the turn of the century, England, America, Denmark, and Sweden all produced a band with humble alternative-rock beginnings. This band, generally on their third album, began to chart unfamiliar sonic waters, eventually creating unique, timeless styles, and enduring works of art. The band from England is Radiohead, who have enjoyed worldwide success and accolades for pushing the limits of rock music, and for exploring isolation and alienation. The American band is The Appleseed Cast, who served a similar-enough function of limit-pushing to Radiohead to be deemed by as "America's closest answer to Radiohead" (not once, but on two separate occasions!). The Appleseed Cast ventured into more abstract, analog waters, as opposed to Radiohead's digital nightmare, (sadly, while quite deserving, The Appleseed Cast have achieved far less of Radiohead's popular attention, though easily matching them in critical acclaim). The Danish band is Kashmir, who have mainly achieved fame in their own country, and who have only recently started pushing boundaries (though they have pushed them quite well). Finally, the Swedish band is Kent, who have nearly a dozen number one records to their Sweden.
Despite being consistently great for an incredible amount of time, and ruling their own nation, Kent have never found fame in America. They tried, but I'll get to that later. Like the other three bands I've mentioned above, Kent's first album is pretty inauspicious. The music of their self-titled debut is fuzzed-out, sunny alternative rock, much like plenty of other mid-90's music. However, I must say, after repeat listens, Kent does hold up pretty well. While the genre is generic, the music is remarkably well done, and still fun, even though the lyrics are unintelligible to any non-Swedish speaking listener. Or Swedish-listening listener, I guess.

1995 BMG
1. Blåjeans (Blue jeans) 2:58
2. Som Vatten (Like water) 2:54
3. Ingenting Någonsin (Nothing Ever) 4:02
4. När Det Blåser På Månen (When The Wind Blows On The Moon) 4:19
5. Jag Vill Inte Vara Rädd (I Don't Want To Be Afraid) 3:34
6. Vad Två Öron Klarar (What Two Ears Can Take) 3:47
7. Den Osynliga Mannen (The Invisible Man) 2:44
8. Pojken Med Hålet I Handen (The Boy With The Hole In His Hand) 2:09
9. Ingen Kommer Att Tro Dig (No One Will Believe You) 3:31
10. Stenbrott (Quarry) 4:21
11. Frank (Frank)* 4:48
* Thanks a lot for that linguistic clarification, Wikipedia.

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