It's kind of telling that "Du & jag döden" (You & Me Death) starts, lyrically, on a flight where someone (possibly) learns that he or she is about to die. Kent's masterpiece "Isola" ended with an aeroplane taking off in the song "747", heading towards opportunities and danger, and at the same time giving Kent a new song to finish each and every concert with.
The flight is over now - after the melancholic "Hagnesta Hill" and the slick and thoughtful hit parade "Vapen & ammunition" - and here is a band drowning in nostalgia and almost obsessed with the insight that each and everyone of us are going to die. Never has Jocke Berg looked this hard at his past, trying to determine where it all went wrong, and seldom has his lyrics hit me in the center of my heart this much. Maybe it is the fact that we all are older now, but lyricwise "Du & jag döden" feels like an album written for me. Right here and now.
And for those of you who don't speak Swedish: Kent is the best reason there is to learn.
Musicwise, "Du & jag döden" feels like it is written for me right there and then, somewhere around 1990-1991. Kent haven't sounded this dark, harsh and gritty since their second album "Verkligen", with guitars sharp as razors or broken glass across a wet inner city dead end street at night. The Cure, Depeche Mode, U2, Church - they are all here with us - but with that Kent twist that makes the songs totally unique and gripping. A piano here, a calmer verse there and that pop sensibility that is felt throughout the whole of the album - it all adds up to what I must say is Kent's best album to date.
To start naming songs almost feels silly, but speaking of concert enders, Kent finally have the choice of not one, but two new tunes that will drive the crowd wild and make the hairs on their arms stand up: the epic "Mannen i den vita hatten" (The Man in the White Hat) or "Den döda vinkeln" (The Dead Angle"). Before the dreaded end of their live show, they can now also unleash killer songs like "Palace & Main", the single "Max 500" and "400 slag".
Too bad then there are a couple of show stoppers hidden here as well;
slower, not as relevant songs like "Klåparen". But enough of that now. There are bigger things at work here: I actually spend a huge part of my time listening to beat-based music with few or no guitars (even hip hop), but "Du & jag döden" makes me remember what is so earth shattering and mind blowing about a great dark rock song.
Kent have existed for a decade and mark the start of a new one by releasing their true masterpiece. I feel almost scared when I think about what will, or won't, come next. But until the fate of the band and the sound of Kent's next album is revealed, I will enjoy the dark and majestic "Du & jag döden" over and over and over again, remember my youth and ponder my mortality together with Jocke Berg. He understands the way I think.
And you non-Swedes people out there: Here is a translation to the great rolling and ever repeating chorus that ends "Du & jag döden": "Vi ska alla en gång dö" - "One day we will all die". Sing along folks.