The Knife have put their new album Shaking The Habitual out there for us all to hear. Simply put; this album is a masterpiece from start to finish. The distorted vocals, prolonged instrumentals, silent moments, haunting parts, guest spots and passion behind this record put it at the forefront of music.
Karin Andersson and brother, Olof Dreijer, have put their hearts and souls on this record. In the first two tracks we hear Karin voice her opinion and view on gender bending, breaking gender roles and going beyond what one expects in any given situation. “Full of Fire” was their first single breaking ground with an, at times, shocking video that defies age and gender roles. Karin’s fury in the video gives the song even more rage as she yells at the end at the top of her lungs in fury over this world’s rules on age and gender. “Cherry On Top” is slightly less accessible with a pro-longed instrumental that’s at times haunting. By 5:18 we get to the vocals and a very Japanese inspired music bed. Karin’s voice is distorted and the instrumentals are all over the place but the song remains cohesive in its intended statement. “My Life Would Be Boring Without You” is a bit more fast paced and the instrumentals are similar to what we hear on “Full of Fire.” The record turns a bit more dramatic and triumphant sounding when we hit “Wrap Your Arms Around Me”, a song focused on the insecurity that lies within our world and the need for one to feel more secure. “Old Dreams Waiting To Be Realized” is the longest and most haunting track on the album clocking in at 19:02 and similar to a track off their collaboration concept album, Tomorrow In A Year, with Mt. Sims. “Raging Lung” is a song protesting our world’s inhabitants that live amongst extreme wealth and refuse to share it. The song asks to end extreme wealth and if you look on their site you’ll see a rather long cartoon depicting that exact thing. A horn like instrument sounds word and almost as if they are emulating the sound of a smoker’s lung on this song. “Stay Out Here” is another song in protest of extreme wealth and features Shannon Funchess and Emily Roysdon, it’s a bit more poignant than “Raging Lung.” “Ready To Lose” is the final track and very similar to sounding to “When I Grow Up” off Karin’s side project album under the moniker, Fever Ray.
You’ll find yourself having to listen to this a few times before it really catches you but take the time to listen to every sound and every echo of every track. It’s a brilliant piece with many powerful statements.