Silent Shout

 
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Customer Reviews:

  • believe in this record
    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 it 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 my #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 80'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....more info
  • incredible!
    I bought this because it was listed on Pitchfork as the best album of 2006. I was skeptical, but bought anyway. My music vocabulary isn't extent enough tto describe the layered greatness of this album. By far the best thing I've heard in the last six months. If you love electronic beats, get it!...more info
  • Conventionally Electronic?
    I listen to a decent amount of heavily-electronic artists, but wow!, when I appropriated Silent Shout into my rotation, I'd not the faintest idea how quickly it would rise to the top and remain there. It is going to take an utter masterpiece to even come close to touching the third release of The Knife. This, like many others have asserted, is not for your casual listener. I know from several of my friends' reactions that this music is addicting but can be quite macabre at times. Not that it makes much difference, but until I read that Olaf lays down no vocals on this album, I myself was more fearful of it. I guess the discovery that Karin does all the vocals (even the terrifying chants of "One Hit") brings the album down to reality: that this is a human being, whose voice is tweaked further than most artists would ever fathom, not some monster providing vocals; although, incidentally, the song is sung from the perspective of a monster of sorts: a misogynistic one. This album is avant-garde mainly because it does what most other electronic albums don't; it simultaneously sounds like it was produced with a computer but not pre-programmed. When I listen to many electronic albums I get the impression that the artist is simply laying down vocals on beats that came with their machine, rather than creating anything remotely interesting, worthwhile or unique. No matter how dancy Silent Shout gets there is an omnipresent and insidious gloom lurking about in each song. Take the album as a whole, give it a few listens and check out the title track, "Neverland", "We Share Our Mother's Health", "Marble House" and "Like A Pen" if you are skeptical. Although their previous two releases are better than most electronic albums, The Knife, like wine and some cheeses, get better with age.

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  • One of 2006's bests..
    I'm still suprised to see that so many in the indie scene had the sense to so highly rate an electronic album such as this one.
    A inventive electro album that thankfully as a unique sound (as so few electro albums sometimes have), you can see why the good ears of Mute Records picked up on this mysterious sibling Sweedish duo act.
    "We share our mothers health" became one of the most bizarrely catchy singles of the year, with a awesome music video to go along with it, if you are in any doubt of buying this album, I recomend checking out the video on youtube, it will convert you.
    Overall, the album is dark, filled with chilling background synths layered with wonderfully sharp keyboard lines and bass that makes even the most introverted start doing some foot tapping make it where you can't ignore this disc. The very avant garde vocal style is somehow still very accessable. The production is damn fine as well. This is most defintively not only a album that you will want to have on the dancefloor, but one that will make for a good time while on the headphones at home. The duo will have a hard time topping this one, however with this quality of album work they are sure to have a good career ahead of them if they can keep it up.
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  • Catchy but not warm
    While this is a very innovative album, I would offer caution to anyone diving in without knowing the content. The album is not listener friendly. It demands a familiarity of electronic music and especially IDM to appreciate some of the tunes these two put together. Some of the vocoder manipulations of the vocals can be disturbing. However, the music itself is very catchy and enjoyable. All it takes is a matter of getting past the arm that The Knife puts out to keep people from immersing themselves in this album. The uptempo beat tracks are the standouts. However, almost half the album wallows in downtempo stretches that can test the patience of the mainstream ear. Overall, the album is very well produced with interesting electronic arrangements. However, the album as a whole is not one that I connect with emotionally. Not that this music makes any attempt at human warmth....more info
  • grew on me
    This one had to grow on me a little...

    Musically, it's pretty solid. Not very revolutionary, but a good "icy" electro vibe, not dissimilar to the Ellien Allien/Apparat "Orchestra of Bubbles" album ---though not exactly the same as that one, either.

    Vocally, it is sometimes strained for my tastes. The vocals are almost universally distorted in a pitch-shifted way. This took some time for me to get used to. I eventually realized that this could be very effective, though I have not entirely shed the perception that it sometimes sounds like a bad Asian stereotype (check track 3 for a good example of this).

    Lyrically, english doesn't sound like their first language. That in itself doesn't bother me too much, but the excellent music leaves me wishing the lyrics were up to the same level of quality; they aren't. I tend to think that the native tongue would have sounded more effective in places, rather than as trying too hard. Even so, I liked the lyrics more as time went on.

    Overall, though, the pluses outweigh the faults. Please don't misunderstand my criticisms, they are small compared to the overall impact of the record. It's good! ...more info
  • Maybe i missed something.........
    What gives? This album is far from spectacular. The only thing that keeps this album from receiving a 1 star rating is the fact it fails to annoy. But on that same token it fails to stimulate on any level higher than elevator music. This is another massivly overrated album from a pretty poor year in music that was 2006. Don't get me wrong, i enjoy experimental music as long as it has some stimulating value (i.e. sonicly creative, foot tapping beats, or emotionaly deep). I fail to make any connection with this cd, on any level....more info
  • major
    The Knife is this great electronic band from Sweden. They are very much an electro band. They remind me of Kraftwerk and John Foxx. The vocals are whispered. They float over keyboards lines. A great example is the song "Silent Shout." Some other songs have massive beats and more hiphop like vocals. This is a strong album. For more electronic music, this is something to check out....more info
  • Sharp improvement
    What a difference two years makes, it seems. The Knife's last album was so overwhelming and uneven that one had to wonder if they were nothing more than a sub-par singles group. But with Silent Shout they prove they're capable of producing consistent albums and dominating the genre not with overplayed pop hooks but dark and atmospheric soundscapes punctuated by sharp bursts of light.

    True, the album does have a few losers along the way (the overcooked and cartoonish "One Hit," the shrugworthy "Na Na Na," and the rhythmically-challenged "From Off to On") but even these lesser moments fit in so naturally with the rest of the album that it's difficult to think of a truly good reason to skip them. Meanwhile, "Marble House" shows a new direction for the band while "Neverland" sounds like a possible leftover from Deep Cuts, a sibling to their catchy hit, "Heartbeats," but with greater purpose and a stronger dynamic within the current mix. Even the iffy early single, "We Share Out Mother's Health," emerges as a surprisingly solid moment. They still have work to do, but suddenly the Knife shows promise where they once only showed missed opportunity.

    Best cuts: "Marble House," "Neverland," "Forest Families," "Like a Pen," "Silent Shout," "Still Light," "We Share Our Mother's Health," "The Captain"...more info
  • Elegant Electronica
    The Knife slips its blade in slowly in this, their third and eeriest ablum to date. Their sound has never been so insidious and effective.

    Most of the songs loom large and unapologetic on a static-heavy foundation of pure electronica. The Knife experiments with some serious, in-your-face sound changes, most of them involving bizarre vocal arrangements (that sound melted, tweaked, and tweezered) and massive chunks of computerized noise.

    When they're not infiltrating the nerves with schizophrenic, hyper-active machinery ("We Share Our Mother's Health" and "Like A Pen"), they're lulling listeners into dim groves of lyrical whispers ("Forest Families" and "One Hit"). This is the kind of album that's so avant-garde, so experimental, so hard to define and yet so insistently familiar that the urge to compare it to other records of its kind is almost unresistible.

    But, in all honesty, there really is no other record to compare it to. The techno-militant urgency of "Neverland," the winding orchestral phantasms of "Marble House," the star-lit brilliance of the title track -- they may play like the distant cousins of Bjork, Massive Attack, Aphex Twin, or the Sneaker Pimps, but they are still indelibly unique. Fans of electronic music will be more than pleased, and everyone else may just find a few reasons to give the genre a more serious look....more info
  • Music for my DNA
    Another one of those GREAT albums that I must absorb into my DNA. Many repeated plays to come!...more info
  • Pitchfork, believe it or not, is wrong... a lot! Case in point, this record
    Album of the Year?!!!? This record is, in places, a perfectly fine electro-pop record. In other places, however, the words 'dry toast' come to mind. There isn't a surprising moment on this entire album, and at it's worst it stinks of past Swedish sins a la Ace of Base with a touch of neo-Kylie Minogue thrown in. Interestingly enough, the record that came in at number 50 is an infinitely more interesting electronic record which manages to avoid the melodramatic plasticity that this one wallows in. Look it up! Bookashade!...more info

 

 
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