Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

The Knife

  • Silent Shout [Rabid/Mute, 2006] A-
  • Shaking the Habitual [Mute, 2013] A
  • Shaken-Up Versions [Brille/Mute, 2014] ***

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Silent Shout [Rabid/Mute, 2006]
Celebrating the lighter side of alienation, the cunning Olof Dreijer elbows comely synthesizer tunelets with sharp synthesizer beatlets as his wacky sister Karin applies a kiddie screech to various bad things. Exactly what these are is hard to say because the lyrics resist parsing as sound and sense. But the musical construction is so jaunty that they can't be serious even if they're cutting their alienated fans out of the joke. Dig it when Karin lowers her voice electronically and duets with herself. Good giggles are so rare in alt these days. A-

Shaking the Habitual [Mute, 2013]
Surrounded and set up by bizarro-world electronic "dance" music as engaging as prime Burial and playful to boot, even the arty stuff signifies--sometimes as soundscape and sometimes as slap upside the head, as in the scraped cello-I-think of "Fracking Fluid Injection." The one exception, the 19-minute electronic-drone-with-apostrophes "Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized," isn't calming or trancey, just an inoffensive tune-out. Conveniently, however, that one's a bonus track even if neither band nor label advertise it as such--available only on a two-CD "deluxe edition" whose sole additional attraction is a comic book satirizing the superrich, who I guess they figure won't think twice about buying it. Poor me recommends the single disc, an hour and a quarter of music that's the opposite of inoffensive--an exciting, multivalent Dreijer sibling showcase. Karin provides saving shades of humanity by exercising the vocal cords nature gave her. But Olof's imagination, sense of humor, and bent rebop carry the day. A

Shaken-Up Versions [Brille/Mute, 2014]
They're only remixes, generally of songs fans already love, but they do shake quite a bit of action ("Got 2 Let U," "Pass This On") ***

See Also