Date: 2008-11-02 11:52:02 Created: null

I discovered Kent in the summer of 1996, the year they released their second album. I got one of those hit collection CDs for my birthday, and Kräm was one of the tracks there. Wanting more of the same I bought the whole album, Verkligen, later the same summer. It was a rather major discovery.

As is often the case (especially, I feel, with Kent) the single really didn't represent the full album all that well, but that doesn't matter after the first few listenings.

What mattered was the music.

The lyrics!

For the lack of a better description, Kent's lyrics were just so perfect. They say the exact right thing in the exact right way, and a way that's often a little surprising or unconventional. Verkligen felt so powerful to me that it took a while before I felt comfortable with it. "It expresses all these strong emotions in this music and these unusual words, can I really handle it?" Having it on as plain background music was of course out of the question.

I avoid saying things that apply to all their albums. Currently there are five albums and a singles collection available, and things have changed quite a lot lately. The first, self-titled, album is a kind of raw diamond; edgier and much less produced than its follow-up. The third album, Isola, sounds quite radically different from the first two, but all was still good and true. The fourth, Hagnesta Hill, was one hard to digest thing though. When I listen attentively to it I can appreciate the lyrics and music, but otherwise it just flows together into a slow soup of similar sounds. A few tracks were good, but only one, Musik non stop, really felt like it touched me at the best of times.

And the fifth album is Vapen & Ammunition, and Kent has become mainstream kings. They've said themselves that the album is simply a collection of ten strong songs, and sure enough, it is. Ten tracks of solidly crafted music. But damn, it's mainstream, it doesn't touch! As a matter of fact, that's pretty much a theme in the lyrics as well, there's plenty of talk about growing old, running out of amminution and meaning and so on. The one shining exception that touches is Socker, with lyrics critisising "reality TV" and all the madness surrounding it and related things (on a fun/sad sidenote, a writer in an evening paper (spreaders of crap like reality TV hype) got all indignated about Jocke Berg (Kent's singer and writer) expressing disgust with evening papers and media. You don't notice what you don't like ...). That one can give me goosebumps!

What to do when you've reached the top? I don't know, but somehow I wouldn't be too surprised if Kent split up some day soon. Then there'll be some outstandingly wonderful and crowded reuinion tour in ten or twenty years' time. I can get goosebumps from that idea already :-) ... But the Kent that released Vapen & Ammunition feels uninteresting to me. In fact, I haven't bought the album. I probably would have despite my doubts, if BMG hadn't seen fit to make it copy protected. No way I'm supporting that, thank you very much. I'll be in line for a ticket to the reunion tour though ...