Is history recorded?

Dear friends,

Now when JLM asked me for my list of favorite albums of 2004 for his critical round-up, I almost gave him a list of my top 25 favorite SONGS of the past year instead because when it comes down to it, asking me for my FAVORITE RECORDS of the year is what drives some people to the monastery or straight into the arms of unsuitable lovers from France. I get too stuck in thinking it has to be a record experience so if you have an album with ho-hum sequencing but one beautiful song, what do you do? Shouldn't it be recognized as well?

One such song is called Know How by a Norwegian duo called Kings of Convenience. A song so Crate & Barrel cranberry velvet couch that it's almost shameful to listen to. As is any song that keeps reminding you of yuppie furniture. But seriously, this song makes me want to be really, really wealthy and living in a fabulous home with colonial accents and a view to turquoise waters. Listening to it practically takes me there.

First there's a Scandinavian approximation of Bossa Nova-esque strumming on acoustic guitars (often approximation and not drop dead arrival is what makes songs shimmer) providing a cool, sitting-on-a-veranda-somewhere-balmy type feel. Add to this a breathy yet collected male vocal about not much or possibly, 'TOEFL?' Though towards the end, when a second vocal kicks in, things clarify, and it appears to be about happy domesticity. Ok, so far, so Ikea. Ah...but the second vocal part, it's sublime. The two voices repeat lines back and forth, together and to one another. The music gurgles happily to a close. Sunset fade-out.

For the longest time, I thought the second voice was a guy crooning in falsetto and it made it that much more tender; a breezy man to man love song. But now it appears that the singer may be a woman...with a male falsetto voice? Yeah. I was disappointed. But you know what? It still sounds lovely. Like a beautiful consummation. Just hetero. Pass the thrice yearly Nat Sherman and fix me a mimosa.

I've heard this track over and over again, trying to figure out why something so classy casual and summer cashmere has hooked me. Especially since I am definitely autumn sloppy who likes things torn at the seams. I may never know. but now you know my dirty little secret. Don't hold the rattan against me.

Love, D

Song to seek: Know How

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Blogger george said...

I really love some of the KOC stuff, but sometimes they go a little too far into shmaltz. Like the original version of "Toxic Girl" is awesome, but the version with those Muzak strings on it is a travesty. I feel the same way about the remix album they did and Erlend Oye's solo album. Have you ever heard it?

1:22 PM, March 17, 2005  
Blogger d said...

nope. but yeah, their stuff can go the way of "eh...?". I haven't heard either of those other items. worth checking out, or further travesties?

4:06 PM, March 17, 2005  

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