Review Summary: Isola is a musically mature, emotionally deep, and lyrically ambiguous piece of music in which the listener sees the clear difference between a marketing tool and an artist.
Popular music is for the most part boring and shallow, senseless and cheap. While there are certain artists that have managed to release interesting works, for the most part, it can be said that anything tagged as ‘pop’ is submitted to redundancy, lack of creativity, conformism, and follows the tendencies of capitalism. The `popular´ artist is a marketing tool; the label becomes a capitalist and its artists the laborers. Useful musical talent and artistic skill quickly transform themselves into commodities without personality or freedom. They are under the hierarchy of monetary exchange. Few popular artists have managed to escape this unbearable lack of individuality; namely Pink Floyd, The Doors, Love, The Beatles. As you can see, all the artists I have mentioned belonged to the 20th century. Why? Well, with the arrival of the 21st the problem has become worse n' worse than it was 50 years ago. Real talent is becoming frivolous, while on the other hand talentless automatons are being praised as ‘innovative, cool, or `good music.´ Kent is a Swedish alternative pop/rock band; they have sold millions of copies, in Scandinavian Europe a Kent album is considered a prodigious event, but they are the exact opposite of what you would expect. Incredibly, popularity and money have not affected Kent’s music, which showcases an ever-expanding songwriting that has remained consistently intact. In 1997 Kent released their third albumIsola.
is deep and thoughtful; it is an album of introspection. While listening to it you’re always being touched by the fragile hands of modern life’s monotony, pain, and longing for love. The album is extremely atmospheric and each guitar chord played gives me the impression of a young man painting, using art as an eloquent method to cope with his emotional issues. It is not the real concept, though. I don’t know Swedish, but I honestly enjoy listening to it. I find pleasure in forgetting about languages and giving each track its very own story, so that each Kent song is a new tale, each Kent album a new journal in which I can write my thoughts in. That’s the beauty of listening to Isola
. The band, at the time, was changing their sound. From an alternative Indie style to a mixture of catchy Indie rock, shoegaze, and subtle post-punk-esque moments.... The mediator between the head of Kent ( Verkligen, s/t
) and their hands (Du & Jag Döden, Hagnesta Hill
), metaphorically speaking, must be their soul: Isola
. You see Isola’s
artwork and imagine yourself sitting in a 747‘s chair, looking through a window, seeing your wife and kids for the last time, because that flight was going to end your life….
Their humble beginnings as an unknown alternative rock band, their rise to fame with Verkligen
. The millions of copies sold of ‘Du & Jag Döden,’
you think of it and ask yourself how do they make it? How they manage to be extremely catchy without losing themselves in the state of ‘being extremely catchy.’ As I said, Kent is an special band. Each record shows a progression from their last, updating your sound without eliminating what made it memorable. It is refreshing, to say the least, that each album is remarkably consistent but still remains completely distinguishable inside their long discography. Kent manipulates the market, not the opposite. favorite songs?[… ]I would mention “Bianca,” which starts off with beautiful, elaborate basslines before shoegaze pillars of feedback invade you on its amazing chorus. The song is melancholic yet uplifting at the same time, something frequent on Kent's music. Following “Bianca“ might be “Innan Allting Tar Slut,” and this is a perfect example of compare/contrast relationships taking place on their discography. One is dark and dreamy; the latter ethereal, reflective and contemplative.This album represents, to me, the center of Kent's career, and it is my favorite album of theirs. Isola
is a musically mature, emotionally deep, and lyrically ambiguous piece of music in which the listener sees the clear difference between a marketing tool and an artist.