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Customer Review

on 11 May 2013
By now it seems The Knife can do no wrong, and if they released an album of engine sounds they'd probably still get 5-star reviews (the Emperor without clothes syndrome).

Sadly this album was a huge disappointment to me. I have been a fan and a follower of The Knife since their first album, and have come to expect something innovative and different from Karin and Olof Dreijer whenever they create something new. I have also come to expect that The Knife often require a few good listens to grow on you. The first time I heard Silent Shout I was less than impressed, but after a while I came to love it at least as much as I loved Deep Cuts. There is absolutely no doubt that Karin and Olof are brilliant and hugely innovative artists.

That said, Shaking The Habitual is a rather far cry from their other albums. In fact, most of the album isn't really music at all, but rather pure deconstruction of sound and noisy experiments with dissonance that borderlines sound torture. And for that reason alone, I hardly understand how Shaking The Habitual can garner so many rave reviews, when it's difficult to even classify it as a music album at all. Sure, if you like the sound of a fork being dragged across a metal plate, or loud shrieks and long dragged out monotonous tones and endless messing around with electronic instruments - this may be just what you are looking for. I can recommend Julia Holter's "Tragedy: 2013 Bonus Edition" album, if that's your thing.

But for those of us hoping for a Knife album (meaning an album that actually resembles The Knife from their previous releases), it's hard to see how Shaking The Habitual can be anything but a let down. Because it is really not a Knife album at all. It is a recording of the members of The Knife mainly experimenting with sounds instead of melodies, and rumors would have it that Shaking The Habitual represents some kind of protest against commercialism and consumerism (judging from interviews and hearsay, they despise their own success - and especially the commercial success of Heartbeats). So it may be that Shaking The Habitual was intended as a sort of scorched earth tactics to alienate fans (like myself), and to break with their own sound or reinvent themselves or whatever. I honestly don't really care. The product speaks for itself.

I'll continue to love and listen to their previous albums, but if Shaking The Habitual with all it's droning and ambient sound fetishism is the future direction of The Knife, consider this particular fan permanently alienated.
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Product Details

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
£9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime