Fever Ray
Radical Romantics


4.0
excellent

Review

by CaptainAaarrrggghhh USER (23 Reviews)
March 14th, 2023 | 249 replies


Release Date: 03/10/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Silent Shout, Deadly Shout

From the very first snaking melody of opener «What They Call Us» one is transported to the familiar land of The Knife’s highly regarded (and one of their most accessible) 2006 album «Silent Shout». While that statement might seem reductive when talking about the new Fever Ray, it is however applicable since this record marks a reunion between the Dreijer siblings, front-loading the opening section of «Radical Romantics» with the reliable pop sensibility of one of The Knife’s finest offerings.

Naturally, it’s not a mere mechanical retread; the immediacy of the songwriting is hoisted up by haunting synths, sliding in and out of tune, and massive drum patterns, showcasing influence from world music (i.e., «Shiver», «Looking for a Ghost»). The track «Kandy» in particular applies, with a completely straight face, something that sounds like a rather cheesy 80’s style marimba lick; yet the mood is never not sombre or mystical, thanks to Karen’s emotive vocals and forlorn lyricism. The final verse of «What They Call Us» teeters on breaking the wall of mysticism, however, stating with incredible bluntness:

«It's a common misperception
This is not a band
Ready for a dissection
Now mommy's gotta work, see the land»


Indeed, it would be inaccurate to call this a reunion in disguise: out of the album's 10 tracks only the first four are produced by the Dreijer duo. The cut-off is made extremely apparent by "Even It Out" - an electro-punk stomper with an acidic edge, a collaboration with Nine Inch Nails that gives "Radical Romantics" a most welcome bite. The commanding vocal stabs of "cut, cut, cut!" In the hook, pitted against booming drums and menacing synthetic textures (with a healthy helping of atonal guitars that are oh so NIN) evoke Siouxsie Sioux, beefed up for the modern age.

Elsewhere in the tracklist, «Carbon Dioxide» employs a driving four on the floor beat and sporadic strings flowing in and out of the mix like debris circling a speeding car inside a wind tunnel. The track plays like a corrupted version of a conventional pop single with its triumphant elevation of «Holding my heart/While falling» in the chorus, gradually transforming into a manic dance-floor anthem.

After such an energetic romp the record gracefully lulls the listener into a sorrowful trance of «North», again produced by NIN - a slowburner on the topic of physical intimacy, done with Karen’s characteristically primal yet poetic candour.

«I’m calling sex
North
It’s a way to pass
Time forward
To see if time
Works this time»


«Tapping Fingers» starts as deceptively simple Fever fair, collecting steam towards a looping drumbeat before suddenly dropping into zero gravity against rumbling bass as Karen glumly stating how «Everything’s better than sleeping, though», which flows beautifully into the completely lyric-less closer «Bottom Of The Ocean». Layers of delayed «oh»’s bounce around the listener’s head, steadily getting more and more broken and pleading sounding, as behind them a metallic drone scrapes at the edges of the sky.

Overall, «Radical Romances» stands as a top-tier example of emotionally-driven immediate songwriting and immaculate production; possibly, the finest Fever Ray album yet.



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user ratings (107)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
CaptainAaarrrggghhh
March 14th 2023


432 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm in the p0rking l0t

PotsyTater
March 14th 2023


10100 Comments


Would u look at that

ArsMoriendi
March 14th 2023


41294 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good job Captain aaaaaarhghghghgsHWAtdr

DocSportello
March 14th 2023


3405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

some nice solid readings here, good review cap : )

pizzamachine
March 14th 2023


27395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh wait, this is cool

fogza
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2023


10001 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sweet this record has a home

ChrimzonCanine
March 14th 2023


2080 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

What even is that album cover

Egarran
March 14th 2023


34547 Comments


There it is!

Good review. This is probs my favorite Fever Ray.

PotsyTater
March 14th 2023


10100 Comments


No smooth-brain male-gaze takes allowed itt thanks chrimzon bye

MoM
March 14th 2023


5994 Comments


“ What even is that album cover”

Interesting with a really neat font ¯_(ツ)_/¯

PotsyTater
March 15th 2023


10100 Comments


MoM you are best new user in a long time

Ryus
March 15th 2023


37484 Comments


mom was born in 1970 have some respect

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2023


32073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is growing on me quick

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2023


32073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

BNM, here comes the fever!

PotsyTater
March 15th 2023


10100 Comments


Proud

Sharenge
March 15th 2023


5460 Comments


have only checked Knife... guess I should check Fever Ray

plane
Emeritus
March 15th 2023


159 Comments


They’ve done it again

Demon of the Fall
March 15th 2023


34890 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice work, I was wondering when this would get the review it deserves.



This is another strong release for sure, that Shiver through to Even It Out run is a career highlight. I don’t think it’ll ever beat out S/T and Plunge has the highs, but this is a much more even listen.

ChrimzonCanine
March 15th 2023


2080 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No smooth-brain male-gaze takes allowed itt thanks chrimzon bye


Found the retard =]



Anyways, album's meh at best

Jasdevi087
March 15th 2023


8144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's no *checks 5s* Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory



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