Album Review Fever Ray - Radical Romantics4 Stars
A record which posits the idea of love as an imperative condition for human function.
Despite bearing a jarring resemblance to the character Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show on the album’s sleeve, Fever Ray’s latest record is the antithesis to the ostentatious theatrics of the show, stripping the eccentricities of human behaviour to its bare bones. On ‘Radical Romantics’, Fever Ray (aka Karin Dreijer) reunites with former Knife bandmate and brother Olof Dreijer, among collaborators from a wealth of backgrounds, including Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Portuguese DJ and producer Nídia, and experimentalist Vessel. Their first record in five years, Karin taps into a wealth of milieu; from the bizarre world-building of The Knife and its associated mythology on ‘Bottom Of The Ocean’, to tribal girl-pop on ‘Shiver’ and the candid love song of harpsichord synth-pop moment ‘Carbon Dioxide’. It soon unfolds that the string holding each track together is the existential concept of love, or at least what Karin perceives as love. ‘Kandy’ grasps at pragmatism and primitive feelings within relationships (“Simply wood and fire / Lovelier than diamonds”) while ‘Tapping Fingers’ explores late night hookups in Karin’s enunciated style. On ‘Radical Romantics’, Fever Ray posits the idea of love as an imperative condition for human function, and probes into both its darkest corners as well as the simple, mortal desire for affection, producing a fascinating study of electro-pop in the meantime.
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Their new album ‘Radical Romantics’ arrives later this year.
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