Upon watching the 2006 live concert for The Knife: “Silent Shout: An Audio Visual Experience,” I thought of only two things:
A: Is my brain melting?
B: I didn’t realize that it was just the woman making all those creepy voices at the same time she was singing
The former was reconciled with a good night’s rest. However, I had become addicted to what the second question had in store for me. That voice belonged to 1/2 of the brother/sister duo (The Knife) known as Dreijer Andersson…that’s the sister for those of you who aren’t familiar with those crazy Swiss names that get slapped on to their young.
Since that evening I found out two things: The Knife is currently on hiatus (sad), and that Dreijer planned on releasing a solo effort under the title of Fever Ray.
Well, Fever Ray finally gets a proper physical release this week (it’s been available online since January.) So, what happens when Dreijer is let loose on her own?
The album opens up with the possibly alienating “If I Had A Heart.” Well seasoned fans of The Knife will easily be able to accept this song, because it’s as minimalist and creepy-voiced as some of The Knife’s more familiar tracks. But I speak through experience when I say that those new to this type of music will easily be turned off already.
Well, to be honest with you, the whole style of the album is best described as minimalist. Tracks like “Keep The Streets Empty for Me” and “Concrete Walls” are prime examples of the this. But, they work well to keep the mood intact.
That said, there are some great musical tracks on here, that flex Dreijer’s voice and show that she plays her equal part in some of The Knife’s great song structure. “Dry and Dusty,” “I’m Not Done,” and the album’s closer “Coconut” showcase Dreijer’s talent. And that’s pretty much the point of a solo album right?
The truth is, this album is best compared to another great solo project, Thom Yorke’s The Eraser. Both albums let the artist stretch their legs out a bit. But, what they ultimately end up as are sort of snacks between meals. Since the release of Radiohead’s In Rainbows how often have I gone back to The Eraser?
And that’s how I feel about Fever Ray. It’s doing a great job in filling that gap that time has made since The Knife’s superb 2006 cut Silent Shout. But, when that next serving of The Knife comes around, I see myself slipping Fever Ray into a label-less tupperware, and pushing it to the back of the fridge.