Knives Don't Have Your Back

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24

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  1. OnceBitten
    Nov 22, 2006
    3
    Knives Don't Have Your Back is a perfect title. Emily Haines would never stab anyone in the back, all her old acquantences back in Toronto can attest that she's truly progressive, truly cares about the masses, isn't in it for money, fame and power, would never use her gender as a weapon, would never take money from say someone like Michelan Tires, she's incapable of Knives Don't Have Your Back is a perfect title. Emily Haines would never stab anyone in the back, all her old acquantences back in Toronto can attest that she's truly progressive, truly cares about the masses, isn't in it for money, fame and power, would never use her gender as a weapon, would never take money from say someone like Michelan Tires, she's incapable of lying, she'd never cheat or screw over other musicians, she always keeps her promises, her word is her bond, you can certainly trust her, she's got your back, she's selfless and she has nice clothes too, wow, she's so perfect. Believe the hype! It's all true!! Expand
  2. RB
    Oct 6, 2006
    9
    This album will not be for everyone, so I understand some of the disparity in reviews. It is slow, mellow and introspective, and sometimes difficult to listen to in its entirety due to its "heavy" nature. However, you MUST give this recording time. It slowly unfolds until, like the previous poster said, the songs are unwittingly haunting you. There are the obviously catchy (and beautiful) This album will not be for everyone, so I understand some of the disparity in reviews. It is slow, mellow and introspective, and sometimes difficult to listen to in its entirety due to its "heavy" nature. However, you MUST give this recording time. It slowly unfolds until, like the previous poster said, the songs are unwittingly haunting you. There are the obviously catchy (and beautiful) songs (Our Hell, Doctor Blind), but after some time I found myself entranced with the more oddly structured tunes like Mostly Waving and Detective Daughter. Emily Haines has a gift for creating moments of beauty in unexpected places in her songs. Also, the production and sound quality are stunning. Give it a chance, and you will be rewarded. Expand
  3. Dusty1/2
    Jul 9, 2007
    10
    Excellent, to hear in the night with a pain jaajaja.
  4. KatrinaH
    Nov 20, 2006
    8
    After Live It Out (which despite a couple of fantastic songs, was NOT a good album), I wasn't even sure enough in Emily Haines to go and find this album. When Stars' Amy Millan also broke off and made a solo album...and I hated it...that also was a blow against my mental perception of this one. But I finally got it anyways. And it's lovely. It's really and truly After Live It Out (which despite a couple of fantastic songs, was NOT a good album), I wasn't even sure enough in Emily Haines to go and find this album. When Stars' Amy Millan also broke off and made a solo album...and I hated it...that also was a blow against my mental perception of this one. But I finally got it anyways. And it's lovely. It's really and truly lovely. As much as I love Metric (aside from the aforementioned album) this is the setting in which her voice and skills REALLY shine, to my ears. It's not for everyone but I think this is beautiful. Expand
  5. JayB
    Oct 18, 2006
    10
    I've been a regular metacritic reader for a couple years... and this is the first album that's inspired me to write a review. having been a Metric fan but by no means a fanatic, i heard more about Emily after moving to Canada this year. i bought this album shortly after it came out and was absolutely blown away. being an aspiring singer-songwriter myself, i realize how tough it I've been a regular metacritic reader for a couple years... and this is the first album that's inspired me to write a review. having been a Metric fan but by no means a fanatic, i heard more about Emily after moving to Canada this year. i bought this album shortly after it came out and was absolutely blown away. being an aspiring singer-songwriter myself, i realize how tough it is to construct a song. Emily absolutely nails it. i don't understand the negative reviews here. "spare instrumentation?" it's a bloody solo album for crying out loud, what do you expect? the melodies are not "samey," and the "instrumentation" is not indifferent. give it chance... i certainly wouldn't expect it to be everyone's favourite album or anything, but it's certainly now one of mine. Expand
  6. LauraF
    Apr 11, 2007
    10
    This is just a beautiful album. Not only the sound of it, but the incredible lyrics.
  7. matta
    Nov 10, 2006
    9
    This is a great album from Haines, the sort of album that Fiona Apple should have made instead of Extraordinary Machine. The lyrics are great and each song is constructed beautifully. The two negative reviews are just ridiculous. Like Jay B said, this is a solo album by a singer-songwriter. It's not supposed to sound like metric, Austin Chronicle douchebag. This album was meant to be This is a great album from Haines, the sort of album that Fiona Apple should have made instead of Extraordinary Machine. The lyrics are great and each song is constructed beautifully. The two negative reviews are just ridiculous. Like Jay B said, this is a solo album by a singer-songwriter. It's not supposed to sound like metric, Austin Chronicle douchebag. This album was meant to be introspective and thougtful, and Emily nails it. Hovering right outside my top ten of the year. Expand
  8. MarkK
    Oct 6, 2006
    4
    I'm a fan of Metric, so naturally, I'm a fan of Emily Haines' voice and lyrics. However, I'm not a huge fan of pedestrian, same-soundy albums. Besides a few shimmer moments ("Out Hell", "Reading In Bed" & "Doctor Blind") the album never really gets moving. After a few tracks the songs blur together due to their staggering sameness. The entirely basic piano I'm a fan of Metric, so naturally, I'm a fan of Emily Haines' voice and lyrics. However, I'm not a huge fan of pedestrian, same-soundy albums. Besides a few shimmer moments ("Out Hell", "Reading In Bed" & "Doctor Blind") the album never really gets moving. After a few tracks the songs blur together due to their staggering sameness. The entirely basic piano arrangements, the vocals, strings are so indifferent on each track that "Knives Don't Have You Back" could be considered a single, albeit, long song. Disappointing debut. Expand
  9. BrettB
    Sep 28, 2006
    8
    Great album. It's one you have to listen to multiple times before you really get into it. After a while certain songs start haunting you as you proceed with the day and you can't wait to go listen to them.
  10. Marie
    Jan 7, 2007
    10
    Knifes don't have your back is a beautiful, multilayered album. The sort of material that is very enjoyable at first listen, and simply grabs more and more deeply each time you hear it. Beautiful, insightful lyrics; subtle, hauting musical arrangements, and of course Emily Haines' entrancing voice. This album is a masterpiece, if simply because neither of its component outshines Knifes don't have your back is a beautiful, multilayered album. The sort of material that is very enjoyable at first listen, and simply grabs more and more deeply each time you hear it. Beautiful, insightful lyrics; subtle, hauting musical arrangements, and of course Emily Haines' entrancing voice. This album is a masterpiece, if simply because neither of its component outshines the other, but rather they all come together to lure you in with a sound that stays with you. Expand
  11. JoeJ
    Mar 13, 2007
    7
    There's some great stuff here. Doctor Blind is a really top notch piece of musicianship. Unfortunately, there's not enough of it. I find myself getting bored with a lot of the material - uninteresting solo piano music with nonsensical lyrics trying to be a little too artsy. Overall I have to give the album a good review because I love hearing great music, and you'll find There's some great stuff here. Doctor Blind is a really top notch piece of musicianship. Unfortunately, there's not enough of it. I find myself getting bored with a lot of the material - uninteresting solo piano music with nonsensical lyrics trying to be a little too artsy. Overall I have to give the album a good review because I love hearing great music, and you'll find some gems here. Expand
  12. GinaP
    Apr 26, 2007
    8
    This album is good. It has some amazing pieces and incredible lyrics, really make you feel like there's someone out there you can relate too. Only thing I didn't like was the songs had the same style too much.
  13. [Anonymous]
    Sep 25, 2006
    10
    Beautiful. Not Perfect. But it's flaws make it even more beautiful. Some tracks are better than others. There's a certain element of emptiness, transcendence. Gentle voice, playful ornaments. She's there, breathing into your ear. There is no better lullaby than "Winning". Some of the best songs I've heard in a long time.
  14. GeorgeL
    Sep 26, 2006
    4
    progressively worse since Metric's debut album. This is so self-indulgent I feel embarrassed for her listening to it.
  15. MattD.
    Sep 26, 2006
    10
    Spin needs to get a clue. This album is moving the Tori Amos piano sound forward! A nice complement to Metric's rock sound.
  16. MattM
    Sep 27, 2006
    9
    One of the best albums of the year: poignant and beautifully understated, and Haines has never sounded better. Must hear "Our Hell," "Doctor Blind," and especially "The Maid Needs a Maid."
  17. Alex
    Aug 12, 2007
    8
    You either love this cd, or find it boring. Even though the songs may seem a little repetitive, I personnaly loved it. Emily Haines' voice and the soft melodies really got me.
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Alternative Press
    80
    Knives Don't Have Your Back is like the soundtrack to an excellent Alfred Hitchcock film. [Oct 2006, p.200]
  2. The songs are emotive, and yet have catchy hooks; they are at times unrestrained and at others, calculated.
  3. etric's clunky riffage and hi-hat beats are replaced by simple piano figures and subtle adornments (strings, feedback, breathing organ) that draw out Haines' most stirring vocal performances to date, and the muted milieu highlights her natural, sensuous whisper, lending a sympathetic thrust to these broken-down anthems for a thirtysomething girl.