Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Favourite Albums Of ALL TIME! #2Fever Ray Fever Ray [2009]
The debut album from Fever Ray is the solo project from one half of the Swedish electronic duo, 'The Knife'. The half i'm talking about is the singer, Karin Dreijer Anderson [that's a mouthful]. If you don't know her, or her previous music with her brother in The Knife, chances are you may recognize her voice if you listen to Royksopp, who she collaborates with on two of their albums. She's most well known on one of their more popular songs, 'What Else Is There?' [a personal favourite of mine].
If you're hearing her voice for the first time, you will remember it forever. Much like Bjork, she has a very distinctive way of singing. In fact, she sounds like a strangled baby. Trust me though, it works better than it sounds, especially with the style of music she makes.

It's a little hard to describe exactly what Fever Ray sounds like. Those who've heard her previous music with The Knife have an idea of what to expect, but if you're a Knife virgin, it may take a few listens before you completely get into the Fever Ray album.
It's a haunting and dark collection of music, that has an odd innocence to it. It's almost child like in places, like a kids nightmare, but not in a scary way. The album is eerily beautiful in places [Concrete Walls], a little more electronic in others [Triangle Walks], and it even has a slight David Lynch vibe at one point [Stranger Than Kindness]. There's even a track that has distorted baby sounds running through it, all while singing lyrics that sound oddly like they're about birth and re-incarnation [Here Before]. It can be very experimental at times.

The first time i heard this album, i was instantly drawn to it. It was interesting, but it didn't completely click with me until months later when i finally understood the album. It's a unique piece of work, very layered, and also very mellow, so you need to be in the right mind frame to let it works it's magic on you properly. Think of it as a darker version of Bjork's 'Vespertine' album. They both share a similar child like feel to them, in fact, listening to both albums one after the other is a really great experience.

I included this album in my list of favourites from 2009, but it only appeared in my 'Honorable Mentions' list, instead of my top 10. I only wish the album struck with me sooner, because it would have come in at #2 on my list. It still got a mention though, so oh well. It's now one of my top 10 favourite albums of the last 10 years.

If you want something interesting, and you like ambient electronic music, chances are you'll absolutely love this album. Even if it's not really your thing, it's still a good album to have a listen to, just so you can experience something that you may not be used to hearing. The album really takes you to another place. It completely transports you to another world, it's very beautiful.

It appeared on countless critics favourite lists throughout 2009, i can see why, it's amazing.

1. If I Had A Heart 4/5
2. When I Grow Up 4/5
3. Dry And Dusty 5/5
4. Seven 4/5
5. Triangle Walks 3/5
6. Concrete Walls 5/5
7. Now's The Only Time I Know 4/5
8. I'm Not Done 4/5
9. Keep The Streets Empty For Me 5/5
10. Coconut 5/5
11. Stranger Than Kindness 5/5
12. Here Before 4/5


Mas OvaltinePls said...

I have this!
My friend burned me a copy cus he knew that I like Royksopp, although it's completely different.

Next time I sync my phone, I'll slip this in and give it a try.

Anomaly said...

Niiiiice ;)

trixie said...

i LOVE this album. i would absolutely love to see her or the knife live.

Mas OvaltinePls said...

I'm trying to wrap my head around it.
The few songs I've listened to are so eerily.. romantic (in my head anyway), but what I'm trying to understand is..

Is it still her singing in songs like Concrete Wall when the voice is all deep and altered?

So far, it's not something that I'd listen to on the train, but I would thoroughly enjoy meditating to it.

Anomaly said...

It's definitely a mood album, mas.

As for the voice distortion, yes, it's her. I don't know WHY she does it. It's very signature though.

The album took a few months to really work on me properly.

trixie, cool blog ;)