The Knife
Deep Cuts


3.0
good

Review

by Marko Polovina USER (90 Reviews)
January 17th, 2010 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

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.



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user ratings (238)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Kevin K (3.5)
Though they still have the potential for much more satisfying performances, at this point, The Knife...


Comments:Add a Comment 
MassiveAttack
January 17th 2010


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have to head off to work, I'll edit more, but I did a rush through just now. Silent Shout >

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2010


8371 Comments


great review Marko =)

You should actually check my latest too, it might be your thing

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2010


15743 Comments


this has heartbeats. thats the main thing

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

supertouchox2
January 17th 2010


1062 Comments


nice review, have to say i agree about olof's vocals.

ECRbubs
January 17th 2010


687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good work. some weak tracks, but at least Hangin Out and The Cop are hilarious. You Take My Breath Away is a personal fave

MassiveAttack
January 17th 2010


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ooo what is this some comments =) I'm gonna right now Estonian.

AtavanHalen
January 18th 2010


17927 Comments


Really great album, review's nice too. I dig these ladies.

Kiran
Emeritus
January 18th 2010


6001 Comments


i was advised by a friend to stay away from their back catalog after i fell in love with silent shout and subsequently fever ray. might get this though, can't help myself, i'm curious!

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
January 18th 2010


3771 Comments


^ Pretty much. I fucking love Silent Shout and Fever Ray, but this is a bit ehhh.

There's just something about Dreijer's voice which is so amazing though, wheverever she sings on.

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

AtavanHalen
January 18th 2010


17927 Comments


What Else Is There? is fucking incredible.

MassiveAttack
January 18th 2010


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Deep Cuts is a bit disjointed, but is worth a listen got like 3 fantastic songs on here. Silent Shout is better then the rest of their discography by a lot.

Yotimi
January 27th 2010


6521 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Heartbeats" alone makes this at least a 3.5 for me. "You Take My Breath Away" is also amazing. But yeah Silent Shout is way better and slowly moving into my top 10 albums ever.

WashboardSuds
December 14th 2010


5018 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, I agree with most of it.
Heartbeats has grown into one of my favorites of all time now.
I have the ridiculous version that ends with Hangin' Out, tho, so I'm sure I'm missing out a bit

MassiveAttack
December 14th 2010


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks washboard you seem to be a big The Knife fan lol

WashboardSuds
December 21st 2010


5018 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been addicted to this band lately, Massive I think i'm losing it lol

I was going to review this, but there wouldn't be much point since I agree so much with your review, they would be practically identical. The only difference in our perspective I can see is that I have the smaller version of this album and I liked a couple more tracks out of sheer fanboy-ism

Might review Silent Shout soon, tho. Diggin' that album

Yotimi
December 21st 2010


6521 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ Only if you give it a 5

WashboardSuds
January 9th 2011


5018 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just picked up the 17 track version.
Hope to get around to a review when I have the words for this album.
My rating actually sits between 3.5 and 4 somewhere

WashboardSuds
January 9th 2011


5018 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

double post

Adabelle
September 18th 2011


4258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't listened to this in about 4 years, still sounds exactly as I remember it.

Adabelle
September 18th 2011


4258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Double double post.



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