Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. Apr 8, 2013
    90
    The Knife has created a work of art that’s not just a dream waiting to be realized, but a living, breathing reality that’s waking you up to what’s possible in the wildest of imaginations.
  2. Apr 8, 2013
    84
    It is the Knife's most political, ambitious, accomplished album, but in a strange way it also feels like its most personal.
  3. Apr 1, 2013
    90
    This duo's songs are genetic pop mutations, scampering out of control. [Apr 2013, p.73]
  4. Apr 9, 2013
    91
    Shaking The Habitual has minor drawbacks—it wastes too much time on shambling instrumentals, and a wall-to-wall rager would have been great—but this brother-sister team is still heroically alienating and giddily perverse.
  5. Apr 1, 2013
    85
    This is The Knife's show--and we're not allowed to forget that. [Mar-Apr 2013, p.93]
  6. Apr 8, 2013
    90
    If you admire The Knife’s music for its incredible unpredictability and off-the-scale inventiveness, you are likely to consider this to be at least amongst their best work yet.
  7. Apr 8, 2013
    90
    They've never sounded more in tune with the materiality of sound or the sonorousness of the physical world.
  8. 90
    Learning how to untangle one of the richest experimental albums of recent memory becomes a challenge well worth the undertaking.
  9. Apr 9, 2013
    91
    It shouldn’t work--they went all or nothing. They got all.
  10. Apr 4, 2013
    90
    Shaking The Habitual is quite simply a triumph, a bold and experimental statement.
  11. Apr 1, 2013
    90
    Shaking the Habitual is something else, but it’s hard not to find that profoundly exhilarating.
  12. Apr 16, 2013
    85
    Shaking proves from the get-go to be easily the most ambitious and defiantly challenging release in either Dreijer sibling's catalog. [No. 97, p.57]
  13. If any record of this relatively young year demands your full attention then Shaking the Habitual is it, as it opens up as a vast chasm of unexpected possibilities, and despite any possible subconscious misgivings, you’ll immediately want to jump in without thinking twice.
  14. 90
    At Shaking the Habitual’s core are the processes of deconstruction and reconstruction, so rare in the tradition of mostly reiterative pop music that the album feels transgressive, even though its underlying ideologies are reasonable rather than radical.
  15. Apr 12, 2013
    90
    They massage the album's plentiful organic charges into a sonic puzzle with an almost symphonic reach, one that's as challenging, bounteous, and ultimately unknowable as anything you'll hear this year.
  16. Apr 2, 2013
    90
    While some of the abstract material here is frustratingly opaque, how many other ‘pop’ acts can you name that would have the brass cojones to drop a near 20-minute track right in the middle of their record? Astonishing.
  17. 83
    Judicious use of the skip button to find the tracks on which Andersson’s transfixing voice is front and center, results in a much more rewarding, immediate experience.
  18. Apr 11, 2013
    90
    Regardless of whether they're successful or not isn't quite the point; what makes Shaking the Habitual so important is that The Knife used an important moment in their own history to truly subvert the hierarchy that both the band and the album exist in. Thankfully, they also wrote some near-perfect music in the process.
  19. 100
    An exciting, multivalent Dreijer sibling showcase. Karin provides saving shades of humanity by exercising the vocal cords nature gave her. But Olof's imagination, sense of humor, and bent rebop carry the day.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Apr 9, 2013
    10
    Their most experimental album so far. An, maybe not as good a Silent Shout (which is impossible) but it's in another level. I find that almostTheir most experimental album so far. An, maybe not as good a Silent Shout (which is impossible) but it's in another level. I find that almost all the songs are great somehow, and this is something difficult to reach. Full Review »
  2. Apr 10, 2013
    10
    An incredibly brave album. The Knife should be applauded for simply attempting this, most bands wouldn't dare take the risk. The music itselfAn incredibly brave album. The Knife should be applauded for simply attempting this, most bands wouldn't dare take the risk. The music itself is very inspiring, makes you want to be creative. It opens up a whole world of possibilities. Full Review »
  3. Apr 9, 2013
    9
    Shaking The Habitual is completely unlike the rest of the Knife's discog. Deep Cuts it's not. Oh no, it's an outrageously different beastShaking The Habitual is completely unlike the rest of the Knife's discog. Deep Cuts it's not. Oh no, it's an outrageously different beast altogether. If Silent Shout was the door leading into experimentalism, STM is the 3-story mansion they enter. Track after track are filled to excess with noises, detailed layers of sounds interweaving every which-way. Not to mention ambient, droney landscapes that almost make me think of Godspeed! if they were an electronic band. The Knife really take a left turn on terms of how different it really is from their other previous releases.

    All In All, Shaking The Habitual is a challenging piece of music, it really takes a lot to fully digest. But once it hits you, it's unlike any album you'll ever have the pleasure to listen too this year. A-
    Full Review »