Fever Ray is a Symptom of Hipatitis-A

up-karin1

So uh– this is exceedingly embarrassing for me to do a music review on Fever Ray’s self-titled album because: a) name-dropping “Fever Ray” right here and right now will make everyone think that the assholes over at Pitchfork Media gave me the boot and I had no other place to write this review but here– this is terribly presumptuous because I’d never apply for a job at Pitchfork Media (unless I was that unknowingly self-loathing); and b) Fuck you, I’m not wearing a blinding yellow and gold v-neck tee over skinny acid wash jeans like the 80s just shit me out, alright? I just don’t have the body hair for it.

Hipsters on the other side of the field will take their lo-fi banjos to the shins of this album, but seizuring electropop-heads will eat it up like starving Ethiopian kids. Making screws fall out of the last.fm’s hype machine since the album’s digital release last month, Fever Ray has left no chances for any upcoming 2009 albums to make the #1-with-a-bullet-slot on any year-end best electro albums list. The Knife‘s Karin Dreijer Anderssson has appeased her restless fans coming out with this unique piece of solo work after the Swedish electro duo have not only been on a 3-year hiatus, but have broken that hiatus– only to take on some fruity evolution-centric operatic project. It’s like we were expecting them to actually do something normal, so I suppose The Knife not coming out with a new album any time in the foreseeable future isn’t so fucking bizarre for them after all.

But all hype junk and bad blood aside, Fever Ray has come to literally soothe our pissy nerves. Andersson’s prepubescent Björkish vocals and lyrics like– um, alright: “accompany me by the kitchen sink, we talk about love, we talk about dishwasher tablets, illness” are too reminiscent of previous Knife albums, but at least with Fever Ray, you don’t feel like you’re peaking on a pound of meth. On the contrary, this album is so deliciously ambient that you need not go to your dealer for any sort of “stimulus package” while listening to Fever Ray. Listening to tracks like Triangle Walks and Dry and Dusty warp you to a rainforest exhibit at your local science centre, while other tracks may take you to a cheesy planetarium show. Other tracks like Concrete Walls and Keep the Streets Empty For Me get a little more industrial-sounding. This is nothing in the vein of Nine Inch Nails circa 1994, but parallels between Reznor’s epic instrumental effort, Ghosts I-IV, and FR can certainly be drawn, both albums make it obvious that they had too much fun fusing together synthpops and sounds of tribal instruments.

So whenever The Knife decide to y’know, not be fucking weird anymore, we can tide ourselves over with Andersson’s brain child, and that’s not a bad thing either.

Fever Ray is out for official release in March 2009.

Your friendly neighbourhood,

special k.

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