User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 82 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 82
  2. Negative: 1 out of 82

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  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 almost all the songs are great somehow, and this is something difficult to reach.
  2. 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 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-
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  3. 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 itself is very inspiring, makes you want to be creative. It opens up a whole world of possibilities.
  4. 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
    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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  5. May 21, 2013
    10
    I was apprehensive to actually give this album a listen. It is, after all, a behemoth of an album. Yet, I gave it one listen, which immediately led to another, then another, then another, and enough listens passed where I had spent a whole day listening to this over and over again. This is not an easy album. It's icy cold, very slow moving and expansive, but highly rewarding if given its due. I come back to this more than any other album I've heard this year, and almost as much as my two favorite albums from 2012 (Channel Orange and good kid, m.A.A.d. city, which are huge in their own way). Even the ambient tracks are somehow endearing. Against all reasoning, this is truly a masterful album. Whatever the case may be, this has changed how I listen to music. This will probably go down as my favorite album of 2013 (The National not withstanding), and may be one of my favorite albums of all time. Expand
  6. May 24, 2013
    10
    This is a bold, deep, intense and innovative album. The tunes really get under your skin and take you places. Never have I heard the electronic genre pushed to such limits. This an example of artists making exactly the kind of music they want to make and thankfully gaining recognition for doing so.
  7. Apr 17, 2013
    9
    It took me a while to finally 'get it' but now I really appreciate what they did on the new album...although one disc version is better,near-20 minutes long ambient/drone track excluded from it interupts the flow too much.
  8. 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
    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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  9. 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, 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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  10. Oct 15, 2013
    9
    Very different feel for The Knife. A very experimental album with long tracks and soundscapes. Almost reaches the same quality as Silent Shout however, it does begin to drag on near the end (especially if you aren't a fan of ambient music). However, the long tracks are very catchy and even the most experimental changes are pleasant.
  11. Apr 25, 2013
    10
    A great entertaining album to listen to. I loved everything about this album and I can't really recall any other electric pop album that I've liked so in my books this will go down as one of my favorites.
  12. Apr 18, 2013
    9
    by @LucasJelinek After a long wait since his last work in 2006, The Knife returns with "Shaking the Habitual" in hands. Released on April 4 is their 4th studio album. What a way to go back! A mixture of experimental-techno-pop: Exciting, risky, with a strong and distinct personality! The Swedes surprised with this new release, the wait hasn't been in vain.

    "A tooth for an eye", "Full
    of Fire", "Without you my life would be boring" are for me the first part of the album, making clear the energetic and techno-pop side of the band. I believe this is the best part of the album.

    The album is split from "Wrap your arms around me" to "Raging Lung", it feels the change to the experimental electronic. I believe that "Old dreams waiting to be realized" has at least a 2 minutes more, it lasts 19:02 min. Then the album returns with a fusion of both parties to consolidate the whole work. Shaking the Habitual needs no introduction, is an album that screams what it is: One of the best of 2013 so far.
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  13. Jun 13, 2013
    8
    "Shaking The Habitual" is one of the strangest and most suprising albums of this year. Brave, ambitious, and irrelevantly entertaining, "Shaking The Habitual" is a techno chef d'oeuvre.
  14. Apr 26, 2013
    10
    This album is everything that I want from The Knife. Its primal, invigorating, and at sometimes overbearing. I don't that this album was unexpected at all and should be looked upon as a thrillinh experience from beginning to end
  15. Jul 4, 2013
    8
    I'm new to The Knife, but I now I'm here, I'm loving their latest album, the first since 2006, Shaking the Habitual.

    It's an album which travels the wide spectrum that is Electronic Music. It begins with "A Tooth for an Eye", which really sets the album going, more or less if you aren't liking the album at this point, there really is little for you to dig you teeth into. It's not as
    extravagant as some songs are later on, but it feels like a proper beginning. It doesn't dive straight in, it puts you into the shallow end, but you'll reach the deep end come nineteen minute long "Old Dreams Waiting to be Realised".

    "Full of Fire" picks up speed with some dancy beats and is similarly IDM sounding to "Networking" later on in the album. After, follows "A Cherry on Top", maybe my favourite song on the album. It's slow and experimental, but it is condensed and not as free and wild as "Old Dreams Waiting to be Realised". The album, as a whole is incredible. It takes you everywhere. The more experimental songs string together sounds of Drone with moaning synth lines in the background whilst the song is built up in front of you. There is the light and the dark on this album, there is just so much.

    On "Without You My Life Would be Boring", I really like the beat on it, the foreign feel mixed with the scratchy female vocals really bring something interesting to the forefront. To me, The Knife feel like if Sonic Youth were an experimental electronic duo, because at some points throughout the album the vocals remind me of Kim's.

    "Crake" and "Oryx" bookend "Old Dreams Waiting to be Realised" and really are there to move the album along, whilst they don't really do much, they keep things different. "Old Dreams..." starts off very quiet, like a Pink Floyd song, or something by Sunn O))). It has a very ambient to it, it's very dark and brooding and really splits the album in two.

    "Raging Lung" kickstarts the second half and the album maintains the quality of the first with songs like "Stay Out Here" and "Fracking Fluid Injection" which is where I can see Grimes taking her music in a couple of years if she was to produce longer slightly more experimental songs. And then "Ready to Lose" closes this epic electronic soundscape.

    Overall Shaking the Habitual is amazing it really stands out in modern music, but at some points I feel it can get lost in all it's glory, and whilst not perfect in every aspect, it is very impressive to hear in it long running time.
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  16. Jun 22, 2013
    7
    Honestly I found this album a little bit too experimental, though I must say I've never listened to anything like this, which makes it special. I was impressed by the wide array of different and unusual sounds they created, while on the other hand I didn't find those long silences neither remarkable nor interesting, they made me stop the listening instead. However, still a high performance by those amazing artists. Expand
  17. Feb 20, 2014
    7
    Shaking The Habitual is a very difficult electronic album at the best of times, but it is also a very strong, capturing collection of electric compositions where, very often, you'll become so lost in their sound that you'll barely realize a lot of the instruments in the songs are actually acoustic. Some of the songs on here are a little too long, but that doesn't mean you won't get entranced to the point where you couldn't care less. Shaking The Habitual, is in full, the Knife's best album and surprisingly enough, their most accessible. Expand
  18. Aug 17, 2014
    7
    This album is hard to get used to, indeed. But I can't really deny the genius thoughts that lie under every second of it. It's political, social, and somewhat disturbing. It makes you feel every possible feeling that exists. A very challenging album it is.
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.