Shaking the Habitual

  • Record Label: Mute
  • Release Date: Apr 9, 2013
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 88 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 88
  2. Negative: 1 out of 88

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  1. Apr 14, 2013
    6
    I've been a huge fan of The Knife since first seeing the strange, off-beat music video for "We Share Our Mother's Health" and since then I've waited in anticipation for something new. This album has nice, very unique hooks that pay off with patient listening.

    Unfortunately, the gems are buried in piles of coal the lengthy bogged down by atmospheric synths and percussion resulting in me
    I've been a huge fan of The Knife since first seeing the strange, off-beat music video for "We Share Our Mother's Health" and since then I've waited in anticipation for something new. This album has nice, very unique hooks that pay off with patient listening.

    Unfortunately, the gems are buried in piles of coal the lengthy bogged down by atmospheric synths and percussion resulting in me deleting one-fourth of the album because I really didn't think it was music at all,, but a collection of textured noise. Great for Halloween, not for an active music listener.

    It seems as if the brother-sister duo are using the drawn out electronics to make the band seem edgy and indigestible by the masses for its own sake, like this somehow qualifies them to put the album on a pedestal by anyone that appreciates "good" music. It doesn't work and comes across as pretentious. I give this 6 stars because it shines when it wants to.
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  2. Apr 17, 2013
    6
    The problem on experimenting and intellectualizing music relies on trying to pass messages that may be too much hard to decode by the audiences. Shaking the Habitual is far removed from the mutant pop formula The Knife created for themselves with previous albums, but it doesn't work properly as the political and social manifesto the band evidently tries to create here.

    Though the lyrics
    The problem on experimenting and intellectualizing music relies on trying to pass messages that may be too much hard to decode by the audiences. Shaking the Habitual is far removed from the mutant pop formula The Knife created for themselves with previous albums, but it doesn't work properly as the political and social manifesto the band evidently tries to create here.

    Though the lyrics are fulfilled with thoughts on Western world's values like capitalism, individuality, aristocracy, humanism, they become a big subjective salad sometimes, literally a fruit salad that doesn't benefits from its intricate and sinister sound to be efficiently worthy and often the listener can be caught thinking on anything else than the questionings settled through the album. One can think anything about the strawberries, lemons and buttered pop corns sang in A Cherry On Top minimalist 4-lined-lyrics when it is preceded by over 6 minutes of ambient dark drone sounds and a sitar out of tune.

    For subjects so complex and comprehensive, the duo should have delivered less abstraction. In the end, most of the intellectual part of the album becomes null due to its excessive subjectiveness, what is a blasphemy in the context themselves created.

    However, Shaking the Habitual irony relies in the fact the album, as music solely, still remains quite listenable and vivid, far away from its cerebral pretensions. But the listener must allow himself through its epic score of dark ambient music which may include 20 minutes long tracks of pure noise experimentation.

    Is always to be prized challenging and courageous attempts like this album, though it may work in your play list, it might be more remarkable as a transitive (like a verb) piece of post-modern art inside the MoMA, but requiring proper and relevant complement.
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  3. Apr 25, 2013
    5
    A considerably difficult album from The Knife. Double the length of previous release Silent Shout with some very long tracks, at least half of which are soundscapes or collages rather than songs per se. I can see what they are aiming for but it's more art than music. I'm not giving points away for effort while stroking my chin and complimenting their bravery. It's different for sure, butA considerably difficult album from The Knife. Double the length of previous release Silent Shout with some very long tracks, at least half of which are soundscapes or collages rather than songs per se. I can see what they are aiming for but it's more art than music. I'm not giving points away for effort while stroking my chin and complimenting their bravery. It's different for sure, but don't make the mistake that sticking in a 19 minute drone/screech-athon makes you anti-establishment and therefore cool. In 'fracking fluid injection' similar noises are being created in metalwork classrooms up & down the country and 'Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized' is comparable to sound collage projects getting bad grades in art colleges.
    The sound collages/clashes would have worked better in my mind as maybe 1-2 minute palette cleaners/mind openers between tracks, as with ├ćnima by Tool from 1996. After one full listen most people will skip these tracks forever after or just delete them from their listening devices, thus negating their intended purpose completely.
    A single disc made less deliberately difficult would have a broader reach and spread the message of ending extreme wealth to a wider audience.
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Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. May 30, 2013
    80
    While the Knife seem to have outlined a much clearer vision for what they were trying to achieve, they do so, crucially, through experimentation starting outward from their own comfort zones, and with almost zero lyrical element.
  2. Apr 24, 2013
    80
    It's inscrutable and inspired, and this time mystique has nothing to do with it. [Apr 2013, p.51]
  3. 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.