Monday, November 20, 2006

Silent Shout

Song: Silent Shout
Artist: The Knife
Album: Silent Shout

The Knife’s “Heartbeats” was one of those songs that you hear once and immediately want to know who it is. A synth-ballad so commanding and structurally complex, it was no wonder the rest of the album in which it came, “Deep Cuts” was ultimately disappointing as there wasn’t much else that came even close to it. The album was not bad by any stretch, just didn’t live up to “Heartbeats.”

Fellow Swede Jose Gonzalez did a beautiful acoustic cover of “Heartbeats” on last years “Veneer,” placing it in a commercial for Sony’s Bravia, and launched his career around it, much as the Knife did. This year saw the release of The Knife’s third full length album “Silent Shout.” Upon my first couple of tries, I found this album un-listenable. An absolute mess of icy blips and bleeps with absolutely none of the emotional directness of “Heartbeats” or much of anything else on “Deep Cuts.” The lead track, “Silent Shout” has been getting a fair amount of alterative radio airplay lately and has been a staple around the office. It was growing on me, so I recently took a few more listens to the album. Mute recently re-released their self-titled debut and “Deep Cuts” this fall, so I’ve been listening to A LOT of The Knife.

I can not argue with the fact that this electronic band is different. “Silent Shout” as an album is less dancy and more… scary. Which is odd. The vocals are distorted, married with off-kilter beats that bring to mind images of icy landscapes, desolation, and overall bleakness. Not exactly made for the dance floor. I must say that I haven’t been able to quite wrap my head around what I feel about this band and its music. It’s wildly interesting, but not altogether enjoyable. Yet that seems to change with me daily. Take a listen (or several) and see what you think yourself.


The odd video for "Heartbeats":

The freak out trip video for "Silent Shout":

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