Fever RayAlbum |
Beautiful, frightening, and incredibly fascinating.
Given her work as one-half of Sweden's favorite brother-sister electropop duo The Knife (a band for whom puppets, visual disguises and monsterized vocal effects are the norm), few would have expected the first solo endeavor from Karin Dreijer Andersson to be a radio-friendly pop affair. Still, it would have been hard to anticipate a record as wily and weird as Fever Ray. At first listen, the album plays like a more minimalized version of The Knife, all haunted house synth sounds and simple beats combined with Andersson's often processed voice, but Fever Ray reveals itself to be something far more subversive. A kind of sustained meditation on childhood fear and fantasy, the album is a dark wonder of skittery beats and frightening visuals. On their own, songs like "Seven" and "If I Had a Heart" would still be ominous, but the songs take on an entirely new dimension when paired with the visuals in the videos and in Fever Ray's mind-bending, laser-heavy stage shows. The deluxe box set, which also includes all the videos as well as live covers of Vashti Bunyan's "Here Before" and Nick Cave and Anita Lane's "Stranger Than Kindness," furthers the idea that Fever Ray is, at its core, a kind of pop music performance art. Beautiful, frightening, and incredibly fascinating.