sat 18/05/2024

Album: Fever Ray - Radical Romantics | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Fever Ray - Radical Romantics

Album: Fever Ray - Radical Romantics

Karin Dreijer finds love

Fever Ray's 'Radical Romantics': a probe into a basic topic

According to the press release for Karin Dreijer’s third album as Fever Ray, its completion was preceded by many hours of therapy with the result new things are known. Amongst them that Dreijer “can be struck by despair but also by the big feeling of love and awe”. Dreijer declares “I know what love is and I want to show you”. Radical Romantics is the result of these realisations.

However, despite the seeming openness getting to Dreijer is difficult, not least as the person is hidden behind so total a stylisation it could be anyone beneath the make-up, cloaked by the artifice. Nothing under the Fever Ray name is an unadorned experience. Even so, the declarations have been made and the new album is about “falling in love”: “romantic love…the extra-everything of unconstrained nature.”

Also on board for this Swedish electro-art-dance probe into a pretty basic topic are Olof, Dreijer’s brother and partner in The Knife – who has co-produced and co-written some of Radical Romantics’s tracks. Nine Inch Nails’s Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are in there too. So are DJs and producers Johannes Berglund, Pär Grindvik, Peder Mannerfelt and Nídia (the only female external contributor).

As with the previous two albums, there’s a sense the Tin Drum-era Japan has fed into the sonic palette. Radical Romantics begins with “What They Call us”. Over bubbling, rotating metallic pulses interspersed with stabs of electric whooshing and clanking, Dreijer huskily intones “First, I’d like to say I’m sorry, I’ve done all the tricks that I can”. Next up, “Shiver” is more linear and again coloured by swooping sounds: electronic gulls or kittiwakes. The penultimate track, “Tapping Fingers”, is the most straightforward, the most traditionally song-like. The end comes with the seven-minute “Bottom of the Ocean”, where an electronic wash is topped by a chorale of Dreijer’s sampled voice. Ultimately though, while love and new realisations have been found, Radical Romantics sounds exactly like a Fever Ray album. Maybe not so radical then.

@MrKieronTyler

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters