Shaking the Habitual Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 80 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth studio release for the Swedish electronic duo includes a 19-minute track.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Apr 16, 2013
    80
    The resulting album, unsurprisingly enough, contains their most texturally diverse work to date.
  5. Apr 9, 2013
    80
    However difficult the album may be, it's a rare pleasure to see artists who know how to make great pop songs eschewing expectations, growing beyond their previous oeuvre and audience to pursue a brave creative path into genuine 21st century music.
  6. Apr 4, 2013
    60
    Shaking the Habitual's problem is that the Knife seem to have dismissed the idea of making your point concisely as merely another affectation of a decadent and corrupt society.

See all 43 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 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 Expand
  2. 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
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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.
    Expand
  5. 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.
    Expand
  6. 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
  7. 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 Ænima 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.
    Expand

See all 17 User Reviews

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