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Fever Ray (Live In Lulea)
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2009 debut album from Fever Ray AKA Karin Dreijer Andersson, one half of The Knife. Fever Ray is the title, of both project and album, an evocation of the music's sound, intense and anxious, yet luminous. After having her second child and eight months of the most productive daydreaming later, Karin had a batch of new songs and the raw materials for the production of Fever Ray. Unsure how to get them over the finishing line, she took half to Christoffer Berg (who mixed The Knife's work), half to Stockholm production duo Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid for a final brush and tickle. The result is Fever Ray, an album that, while recognizably the work of the same artist, is dramatically different from The Knife. 10 tracks.
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Comparisons with The Knife are understandable but not always precise. Where Silent shout provided the perfect soundtrack to get the party started, Fever Ray is the music that lingers in the ears as people are exiting with the exhilaration still palpable in the skin. Her signature voice distortion and distinctive vocals are impossible to miss, but they are exploited to produce a wider, richer experience.
Opener If I had a heart is a slow-paced introduction to first single When I grow up, a song that if taken literally is a simple friends singalong but if translated properly talks about longing for that ideal moment to fall in love, past discomfort. This is the turning point - if by now it hasn't happened - when one realizes that she has stripped any direct connections to dance music and instead has opted for a more chilled and accessible approach. It is true that the mark of brother Olof is visible behind the management of samples but it is Karin with her lyrics and her androgynous voice that complements the music to create a brilliant departure from familiar ground.
In Seven she professes I've got a friend who I've known since I was seven / we used to talk on the phone, if we have time, if it's the right time. One never learns if she is referring to an imaginary friend or some kind of paranoia but the journey is deliciously enjoyable. The metallic persona projected almost makes the listener believe that she wants to disengage on purpose from the ideas and feelings that generated her current experience: motherhood, nature, silence. I'm not done explores the mix of genres she honestly displays taking a step aside The Knife's shadow, and Coconut ends the ride reminiscing natural surroundings with a tight structure that barely let lyrics slip by.
As if needed to destroy any doubts about her individuality as an artist she has taken off the mask that separated the person from the music she and Olof crafted as a duo. Her angelical face is only a welcome packet to a world of possibilities now tangible with every beat.
This is a record that never resolves into a pumping session but it never fails to satisfy. An album of ideas but of deep emotional effect, with subtleties that crawl slowly but steadily, that is Fever Ray. The hidden clues to uncover its beauty are scattered making it a flavor that one keeps coming back to savor in a different way each time. Never dull despite the mood, never disappointing despite the apparent form constriction, Fever Ray is one of the best records released this year and a morphing creature that continues to evolve to reveal a fascinating soundscape with each listen.
The Vikings title track is fairly representative of the style in general although there are both lighter and darker moments on the CD, I would be interested in more stuff like this.
Still, this is an amazing album and one I'm happy to have in my collection.
BTW - I have tried to do some online searching to see if there was a bad pressing or something, but have not found anything. If anyone has purchased this on vinyl and had better results, I would be very interested in hearing about it.
and I hope they continue for a long time, they have a lot to say and a unique way of saying it! If you're feeling adventurous, this is a truly amazing album! (And bear in mind, while I'm not typical, I am over 50 and female; love Tool, Linkin Park and Disturbed, so go figure!)
Most recent customer reviews
Sound is fine. Artwork is very nice.
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