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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Knife's 'Shaking the Habitual': New Music Tuesday

Posted By on Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Perennially bizarre Swedish electronic duo The Knife returns this year with an absolutely vast album that is, at various times, both thrillingly fresh and business-as-usual for the group.

The Knife carved out a reputation as viciously anti-corporate artists, who, in the end, take that connotation further than any words like "band" or "musicians" would get them. And much like previous works, "Shaking the Habitual" is a pointed message that covers topics such as openness in sexuality, environmental decay and the perils of bullshit like Citizens United.

Album opener "A Tooth for an Eye," which dropped a few weeks back (see video below), showcases the frenetic stylings of the duo's latest incarnation. Meanwhile, a little later on the album, "A Cherry on Top," evokes the somber mood of 2010's Tomorrow, In a Year.

There's nothing overly "accessible" about this album - or any of The Knife's material. But listeners who have found themselves lured down the rabbit hole over the years will most definitely be rewarded with what is likely the band's fullest album to date.

Is "Without You My Life Would Be Boring" a letter from fans as imagined by duo members Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer? Eh, it probably falls moreso into the crag of frantic love songs, but it's still a suitable sentiment for what The Knife has produced over their career.

It's safe to say that, while The Knife has always maintained its same unique luster, the band has truly developed and evolved over the years. The duo's eponymous debut was far more stripped-down and basic (though still tantalizingly delicious) than what came after. And "Heartbeats," their techno-rave super-single, seems like a world apart from this new stuff.

Follow Eric Sandy on Twitter @ericsandy

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