Kent's eponymous debut album sees the Swedish band yearning for an identity of their own and failing to find it. At times echoing either Radiohead, Pavement, the Cure, and maybe even A-ha, vocalist Joakim Berg and band mates struggle to find the right dynamic blend of emotion and aggression. There's a sense that Kent was just starting to master their instruments during the recording, but that the songwriting was still lagging somewhat behind. The two opening tracks encompass stuttering rock maneuvers, wobbly, crunching guitars, and overall sonic force. "Som Vatten" sounds like Pavement stripped of irony. The album gets into a same-y, amateurish stretch before a relatively powerful conclusion. As on Isola, a later album, Kent sees the band knowing which track to sequence last. "Frank" is built on a pretty, powerful melody, and it sets the tone for the band's more mature later albums. Before that final track, only "Den Osynlige Mannen" and "Pojken Med Halet i Handen" really amount to anything of interest, with the latter track recalling both New Order and the Cure in its keyboard melody. Kent isn't a particularly original album, and it's certainly not the band's finest hour, but it sets a blueprint for Kent's later moody masterpieces. ~ Tim DiGravina, Rovi
Track samples provided courtesy of iTunes
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