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To borrow Kings of Convenience’s favorite oxymoron: Some records just scream chill-out. Much like the rocky retreat on the cover of the Norwegian outfit’s 2001 debut, Quiet Is the New Loud, the cozy chess game pictured throughout the notes of their new effort, Riot on an Empty Street, suggests a commitment to gentle contemplation. And the tunes within, to borrow a favorite oxymoron from another acoustic duo, might as well be the sounds of silence. Indeed, Erlend Oye and Eirik Glambek Bøe embrace the inevitable Simon & Garfunkel comparisons by opening the Riot with “Homesick,” whose descending-scale harmony and longing lyrics are blatant homages: “I’ll lose some sales/And my boss won’t be happy/But I can’t stop listening to the sound/Of two soft voices blended in perfection/From the reels of this record that I’ve found.” Traveling, bridges, home—the Paul & Art trademarks are all there. The remainder of the disc is all soft bossa nova (“Misread,” “Know-How,” “Live Long”), country waltz (“Stay Out of Trouble”), or fingerpicked folk ruminations (everything else), riding the coattails of Quiet threadbare. Those looking for hints of Oye’s electronic solo work will find few here: The closest thing to a groove appears on “Love Is No Big Truth,” a synthy thumper that just manages to pull off a folk-techno hybrid (including some inspired banjo). A similar attempt with “I’d Rather Dance With You” crosses the line into disco–era–Dan Fogelberg corniness. Canadian singer-songwriter Leslie Feist makes two appearances on Riot, most notably on the set-closing “The Build-Up,” the lyrics of which were penned in the hour before its recording. It’s either a testament to her talent or proof of the boys’ sometimes tiresome overearnestness, but either way, she inflates the album’s conclusion with a breath of scratchy-voiced fresh air: “The spinning top made a sound/Like a train across the valley/Fading, oh so quiet/…Into the distances written on your ticket/To remind you…when to get off.” Sure, you can almost see the Boxer waving from a passing car, but Feist’s fanciful vision is one of the most inventive moments here. —Anne Marson