Review Summary: The Knife's debut to put it simply is ordinary. The lack of variance with Karin Dreijer's voice holds back her brother's production with most of this average debut.
I’m not sure what it is with artists in Electronic music that try to create “alter-egos”. They really don’t contribute to their music, except maybe their fans that mimic them during Halloween. The French duo, Daft Punk is the first to successfully accomplish this at an international level. Now I’m not talking about other identities for artists, I’m speaking of strict robot-like suite concerts as part of their live performances. This type of dedication to hold their image within their music is something that needs to be taken account for every time you listen to them. The Knife comes from Sweden and although they do hide their faces from the public, it isn’t for their fans. They despise the media and wear masks everywhere they go in the public. They loathe the media and in some cases the mainstream machine of music it pushes. Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer have also decided to withhold any future live concerts and are currently on hiatus. In response to their Grammi win in 2003 for best pop group they boycotted it by sending another artist group dressed as gorillas with the number 50 written on their costumes in protest of male dominance in the music industry. So my question is why do they hate the music industry so much that they would not let their fans see any of their live shows" Couldn’t you setup any venue if you’re at such a high demand in Europe" You would think so, but apparently The Knife are fed up with most of the music industry and thus are hiatus as stated before.
The Knife’s self-titled debut is quite ordinary to say the least. The highlight of the entire album is probably Karin Dreijer’s voice. Dreijer’s demeanor throughout her musical journey or lack thereof is the fact she really doesn’t change her style much. It’s always playful and somewhat teasing. “Kino” sounds like a Japanese techno dance theme with English vocals, which is where Karin’s use is exceptional, but there are more problems that can’t be helped at this point. Take for example Olof Dreijer’s production methods. They’re generally good and do show some variety, but not enough to hold us interested because of the slow progressions within each track. Some of the electronic beats hold well with Olof’s sister’s yelps, specifically “I Just Had To Die”, but those moments are a little too rare.
When we finally get what we want, something up-tempo, something exciting, and extremely catchy we do in the form of “I Take Time”. It offers industrial-like textured background with an electronic smoothness around. What is really evident is Karin’s use of her vocals in the right spots during this track, allowing Olof to muster what he can – adding different waves of electronic when he needs to with the ever-thumping method of the bass and drums in succession. The Knife’s problems really stem from Karin’s use of vocals. Although I stated that is the main highlight within the album her always constant method of playfulness is really irritating throughout the album. Not only does she obviously hold back her brother’s attempts to bring a livelier experience within the music, it holds the album back most of the time. So The Knife is obviously a duo trying to find their sound, although there are strong areas they can rely on, some of those areas are can bite them back easily without a good balance, something that isn’t taken in account on their debut.