Fever Ray
Plunge


4.0
excellent

Review

by butcherboy CONTRIBUTOR (82 Reviews)
October 27th, 2017 | 152 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Morfin och Kärleksbrev..

For a little ol’ thing, vaporous and comely, seemingly carved from anemic porcelain, Karin Dreijer, better known as Fever Ray cuts an imposing figure on the music scene and in her niche. Snaking and skittering onto the scene at the turn of the century with electro-pop act The Knife, the songstress quickly gained all the critical acclaim and musical regard an artist with scope and a skill set should, esteem that reached pressing peaks when her solo project, the viscous, stunning Fever Ray came around. The self-titled debut came and went, leaving listeners in wait of where Dreijer would set her third eye crosshairs next. Now through eight years and The Knife reuniting and busting up again, she announced the release of Fever Ray’s long-anticipated second, unceremoniously dropped the day after the press release. The album Plunge comes coated in both expectancy and anxiety, a pinched conjecture as to whether it can fill its own shoes.

Fever Ray came over the listener like an oil slick, dense and refractive and dizzyingly reeling. There’s decidedly brighter tracts being mined on Plunge. Fizzy synths cut open its moving parts, letting light in. The doped-up, sensuous dub percussion that gave her debut a patiently erotic slant is inflated here, and while the songs rarely climb out of their low mid-tempo drawl, they seem faster, bigger somehow. In a way, it almost feels like a dimensional choice. That slow, woozy fetish of Fever Ray gave it great scope of width, extending itself endlessly, slithering over you, stifling and muddy and sublime. Plunge lunges forward, stretching itself length-wise more than anything. It still boasts both the jittery, roiling arrangements and Dreijer’s multifaceted, multi-tracked tonal work-outs. But if Fever Ray felt a celluloid pursuit through ebon moodscapes, what Plunge is at its heart, is a regal pop record.

Which isn’t to say the content is lacking. Lead single “To the Moon and Back” is busy like an insect nest, scattershot art drums, pitchy reverberant synths and Dreijer’s lush vox propelling it straight to your pleasure cortex. “Mustn’t Hurry” and “An Itch” are all swaying buzz-saws, and closer “Mama’s Hand” is five unadulterated minutes of building beauty that echoes around the skull long after it runs out. Song for song, everything is brought together nicely here; afro-dub, RnB, ice-capped post-punk and electro-pop fusing into highly intelligent bursts of sinewy soul.

Where Plunge does fall short is in its adhesive properties. For a record that doesn’t feel like it holds a phoned-in or wasted second, it doesn’t manage to assemble itself into the eminent presence Fever Ray was, doesn’t plait itself into something that feels grander than the sum of its elemental underlings. It’s a strong album from an artist with vision and due confidence and a set of deft crafting hands. But it isn’t quite a moment, isn’t a looming wraith, it simply isn’t as good. Hopefully, she doesn’t take so long to forge a third coming. A modern classic or not, Fever Ray’s presence on the scene still feels as vital, singular and necessary as ever.



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Fever Ray


Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2017


5678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a short write-up, i'm sure there'll be more detailed ones to come from you, guys.. great album, but doesn't quite stack up to debut..



streaming on Pitchfork and a thousand other sites by now..



https://pitchfork.com/news/fever-ray-shares-new-album-plunge-listen/

Digging: Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest

UniqueUniverse
October 27th 2017


7838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Karin in the liquor store.

Digging: Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2017


5678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also, this counts as my submission to your rec roulette.. A review for an album that doesn't have one..

UniqueUniverse
October 27th 2017


7838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

and I suppose I'll close my eyes on the fact that I already heard it, when you posted the review.

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2017


5678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, you will.. you only listened once, while doing three other things..

UniqueUniverse
October 27th 2017


7838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

is this some kind of virtual jedi mind trick kind of deal you're trying to do right now?

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2017


5678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's only true.. also, album is a 3.5, i think.. i listened three times, so i may drop my rating and you will bump it when you re-listen for rec roulette..

UniqueUniverse
October 27th 2017


7838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I had it on spin twice now and I could barely handle the second time. It's just really a miss for me so far.

SandwichBubble
October 27th 2017


4807 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You work fast butch, damn. 2.5 seems about right for now

Digging: Vashti Bunyan - Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind

Demon of the Fall
October 27th 2017


3056 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

On first listen I much preferred the 2nd half. I agree about the cohesiveness as well, the tracks in isolation seem strong enough but I didn't get an overall vibe from the album, like it's a collection of songs & not one overall statement.



We'll see...

Digging: Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2017


19696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

quick I see, cant wait to jam this hopefully I enjoy it as much as ya. good shit butcher

hamid95
October 27th 2017


472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album's a riot

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2017


5678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheers, Con..



Demon, agreed, second half is stronger.. i can see this dipping just a tiny bit with repeated listens..

UniqueUniverse
October 27th 2017


7838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

AND IT'S BUTCHERBOY! DING DING DING DING DING

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2017


19696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

unique u crack me up

Chortles
October 27th 2017


20842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

jättebra, butcher!! excellent review as is standard. this dropping made my year, as if it weren't good enough already. love you karin

Digging: Burger / Ink - Las Vegas

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2017


16430 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yup, second half is stronger. First half is too Bjork-y vocal centric for me tastes

Digging: Cathal Coughlan - The Sky's Awful Blue

Demon of the Fall
October 27th 2017


3056 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

How can something be too ‘Bjork-y’?

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2017


5678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Demon, like this - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drawing_Restraint_9



also, thank you for the feature, kind overlords!!



and cheers, Chorts, old pal..

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
October 27th 2017


16430 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

‘How can something be too Bjork-y’



It’s easy if you don’t enjoy Bjork that much



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