Having never heard any music from electronic duo The Knife, it’s difficult to know where Fever Ray’s Karin Dreijer is coming from. Most discussions and critiques of her long-awaited solo album, Fever Ray, center on the anticipation for what she would produce apart from The Knife. It seems most pundits find her eponymous debut to be quite similar to the endeavors of the duo. Be as it may, I find this to be one of the least compelling albums of 2009’s top 20.
A rather abstract electronic landscape smattered with Dreijer’s loose vocal can be hypnotic and is, without a doubt, unique. Yet the idiosyncrasies of the ambient tunes lack memorable repetition. Sure, there are recurrent blips and buzzes within the IDM physique, but there is a want for more convincing melodic repetition. The lack thereof doesn’t render Fever Ray an awful record, but it doesn’t feel like I’m missing something by discarding it.
A rather unconvincing listen, I am left wondering if critics, and those “in-the-know,” too easily get caught up in the hype of a highly anticipated solo album. Analyzing Fever Ray’s debut record leaves this critic thinking that based on its merit alone — not in relation to The Knife’s discography — Fever Ray is largely nonessential.
2.5 / 5 stars