11 years after Erlend Øye’s first, very electronic solo album, the former King of Convenience returns with an entirely different sound on Legao by teaming up with Icelandic reggae band Hjálmar. The vibe is deceptively sunny and laid-back, occasionally reminiscent of Josh Rouse’s brand of retro ’70s soulful singer/songwriter, but the lyrics tell a starkly different story, mostly of disappointment: in frustrated or lost love, in the people in charge, in the dishonest and emotionally manipulative, in those incapable of seeing what’s good in their own lives… Even though his voice is never raised above his usual conversational tone, the earnestness of his emotions is plain; these songs seem to be the place he gets to tell the unvarnished truth that we all know is difficult to express in person, a bitter pill made tastier by the pleasant music. Here’s the slinky, groovy “Garota”.

You can buy the album here.

And just because it remains deserving of attention and isn’t reprised on this album, here’s his wonderful 2013 Italian-language single “La Prima Estate”, which you can buy here.

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    Favorite Albums of 2014