Review Summary: A more balanced, thorough effort by the Swedish duo sees them scrape away some of the problems that covered their 2001 debut.
Karin Dreijer probably got the message in one of those one-on-one family convos. Her brother sits her on the couch and then systematically begins to explain the "problems" that marred their debut album, that would be mainly her despicable lack of variance with her vocals. The Knife's debut may be at fault by both of the Dreijer's, but as it stood of the two Swedes Olof was the more consistent and the bright spot within the group for his production. Deep Cuts
is practically a face-lift compared to their previous mundane piece of work of 2001.
If you contrast Deep Cuts
and its red-headed step child The Knife's self-titled debut it comes of practically sensational. The production and use of beats are ramped in with high-tempos and addictive backgrounds, without detracting from Karin's vocals, which also have made a large leap forward. The electronic duo's invigorating blend of beats and poppy vocals is well balanced and it shows on the first two tracks. Both show their big club ability with Karin's vocals being a complete mainstay on both "Heartbeats" and "Girl's Night Out". The progression subsidizes slowly with the mood of the music only couple tracks later with "One For You". This type of smooth and unflinching progression was completely absent in 2001, which sent the listener into boredom and confusion.
Their ideologies still tend to tarnish the album as the unnecessary "The Cop" blares for a short 44 seconds. It is unfortunate to see some lopsided moments within this album as it is for the most part a solid album. "She's Having My Baby" is almost cringe-worthy with its deep, incomprehensible vocals, which I can only guess is Olof trying to perform.
Thankfully Deep Cuts
seems to pick itself up every time it falls, which at times shows its inconsistency, but it isn't a deal breaker. "You Take My Breath Away" follows up on the disaster of "She's Having My Baby" with a fantastic vocal performance of Jenny Wilson with Karin Dreijer singing as a duo.
"We are the people who's come here to play
I don't like it easy
I don't like it straight away"
That purely infectious intro, which is later used as the chorus is their best work up to this point and if you can't seem to swerve to their side on this track, I don't know what will do it for you on Deep Cuts
It is true that Deep Cuts
is uneven in small portions as "Rock Classics" at first seems like a good idea, but it's odd sexual innuendo with short spurts of electric guitar seems a bit all over the place, that with Karin's odd, almost deep vocals that seem to instill paranoia then trust. The factors that take away from this album are definitely the approach the siblings took on here. Olof's vocals should be absent on the entire record, period, if not then sing in harmony with his sister to cloud over his problems. It can't be more evident than "She's Having My Baby", "It's My Medicine", "Got 2 Let U", and a genuine what the *** moment on "Hangin' Out" to see that Olof ruins any type of flow within those tracks. Secondly, Karin's re-emergence as a leading vocalist with the upped ante of Olof's fantastic production is a welcome sign for The Knife, but it still begs to question why they concern themselves with past atrocities in their debut. The utter playfulness that is all-over "You Make Me Feel Like Charity" and "Got 2 Let U" is more frustrating than involving in any way. The original release called for "Hangin' Out" to be the closer. The U.K. and U.S. versions have different closers, far superior to the original release. In the context of its original release it is a poor end brings down the album substantially, with the beginning of Deep Cuts
showing much promise.