Boomkat Product Review:
One of the 21st century’s greatest, The Knife’s 3rd album of puckered synth-pop returns to orbit on its 15th anniversary, serving bags of nostalgia for anyone who remembers smoking in the club.
A pinnacle of the Swedish synth-pop style pursued by siblings Karin and Olaf Dreijer, who’ve since moved onto Fever Ray and Oni Ayhun, respectively; ’Silent Shout’ remains a proper dark gem from a strange period when electro-clash had given way to teutonic electro-house and minimal techno, and synth-pop was mostly found on TOTP2. Armed with incredible songs and perplexing lyrics, The Knife reset synth-pop in their own image, offering a darker adjunct to the kind of pop chops from Sweden’s Max Martin et al that then dominated the charts, still retaining that inimitably Scandi knack for melodic ohrwurms but with a stranger, stronger appeal to those who couldn’t be arsed with 99p alcopop fuelled clubs.
Cuts such as the alien bop of ‘We Share Our Mother’s Health’ incorporated more tropical rhythms in a way that would hugely predate movements over the next 10 years, while the album’s face-freezing lead tune perfectly dovetailed with and bettered post-electroclash and proggy trance currents, and the album’s slower moments, like the swaying alien vignette ‘Na Na Na’ and the icy soul paean ’Still Light’ surely sowed the seeds for remarkable albums to come from Fever Ray. Fair to say that we’d love to hear some more solo work from Olaf Dreijer, whose Oni Ayhun project has been on ice for over 10 years now, but when you’ve produced a record this strong and resoundingly definitive of an era, we’re happy to wait.