Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Knife - Silent Shout

The Knife
Silent Shout
(2006, Mute)

I am always skeptical but never fail to be blown away by the superb recommendations of the mighty indie music juggernaut Pitchforkmedia. It was only a short time ago that I half heartedly accepted listening to The Knife over a half year after Pitchfork announced Silent Shout as their number one album of 2006. Initial listens confirmed my apathy, splaying taboo euro-techno drums and synths with awkward, processed vocals. I don’t know quite what compelled me to make repeated listens really, but those subsequent listens have absolutely floored me. I have literally had the album on repeat amongst scores of incredible, enticing new music that I could be listening to. It is the first album to do that to me since Joanna Newsom’s Ys. I feel like I can’t keep listening to Silent Shout or else my 2006 gem (and Forest Gospel’s #1 of ’06), Joanna Newsom’s Ys, may be in danger of a retrospective rank toppling. That type of talk may just be from shock but it still isn’t verifiably impossible. The Knife’s Silent Shout is an absolutely unequivocal modern masterpiece. The difficulty is becoming familiar with and used to instrumentation that seemed to played out even in its hayday of the 1980’s. As previously experienced, you will likely play the first tracks and be wondering to yourself how anyone got suckered into buying into this Swedish hype. Patience though is the key here. The album must be consumed as a whole – only then will the kitschiness dissipate and the pure satisfaction of the album bleeds through. Slowly, one by one, every element from the seemingly inadequate drum machine to the apparently juvenile vocals will find their place and suddenly there is no turning back- you have already listened to the album 5 times in a row.

-Mr. Thistle


Sassigrass said...

You are so scared of giving things a 10. If its almost going to replace YS it better be a 10!

Mr. Thistle said...