You Will Be Shaken
Swedish brother-sister duo The Knife are back again after a seven-year hiatus with their latest record, Shaking the Habitual. Their last album, the critically acclaimed Silent Shout from 2006, catapulted the electronic band’s career, leading to sold-out shows and 2010’s collaboration with the likes of Mount Sims and Planningtorok on the opera Tomorrow, in a Year—not to mention all of the Grammys…. With all of these achievements, expectations have been high for Shaking the Habitual since its coming was first announced in 2011.
In a teaser trailer the band released for Shaking the Habitual, they commented that they hadn’t planned on creating another album: “Music can be so meaningless,” they observed in their posh, Swedish way. “We had to find the lust.” And find it they did. Shaking the Habitual doesn’t have the danceable beats of Silent Shout and their early recordings, but the sound is much richer with obvious global influences found in the clinks, clanks, and rolls of the instruments used throughout the album.
The opening track, “A Tooth for An Eye,” has the vibe of something that should be played loudly over a bonfire with wild dancing, but that’s one of the few groove outlets to be found on the album. Dipping sometimes into the realm of the heavy-handed, the album has a lot of darker tones (see “Fracking Fluid Injection” for a ten-minute soundtrack to all of your deepest fears), but it maintains the listener’s interests with the constant noise builds that turn each song into a journey. Admittedly, the journeys can be long and tiresome, but the cathartic experience created by the album as a whole makes Shaking the Habitual worth at least one full listen.
Olof and Karin Drejer have pushed the limits of their creativity and should be mighty proud of what it produced. Shaking the Habitual won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is certainly worth taking a few sips.