Behind the Poster of a Girl
Knives Donâ€šÃ„Ã´t Have Your Back is a vaporous collection of piano ballads so subtle and airy that each seems to float in on a breeze, instead of being conveyed by such messy physical occurrences as the striking of keys and vibration of vocal chords. Such understated offerings would be overlooked if not delivered by Metric frontwoman and indie queen Emily Haines.Usually a punky dynamo, Emily bares her soul on Knives. Heavy-hearted melancholy is the one weight that pins this solo effort to earth. Fortunately, Emilyâ€šÃ„Ã´s sweet voice and ethereal musical arrangements reveal beauty in sadness. “Doctor Blind” comments on the thoughtless prescription of pills with her best aching vocals over a haunting piano melody and Todor Kobakovâ€šÃ„Ã´s strings. When Haines whispers “I wake up lonelyâ€šÃ„Ã¹ on â€šÃ„ÃºCrowd Surf Off a Cliffâ€šÃ„Ã¹ or repeats â€šÃ„ÃºSome part of you, too small to loseâ€šÃ„Ã¹ in hushed tones on the title track, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s enough to stop a heart.
Knives Donâ€šÃ„Ã´t Have Your Back is an album with many exquisite moments. However, great patience is often required between them as Haines tends to slip into cheerless discontent or drowsiness, and quiet notes meld with overzealous application of the sustain pedal. At times, you may long for the thrill and gleam of other soloists, craving PJ Harveyâ€šÃ„Ã´s jarring, throaty vocals or Regina Spektorâ€šÃ„Ã´s hectic jubilance.
If you donâ€šÃ„Ã´t mind chasing notes that seem to dance on the wind like dandelion seeds, you may find Knives an album you can love. Regardless, any student of rock should at least own this album as research into the head and heart of indieâ€šÃ„Ã´s â€šÃ„Ãºitâ€šÃ„Ã¹ girl — then bring it out on rainy Sundays.