Filed under: Issue 21, Issue 21 Reviews | Tags: Charles Darwin, electro-opera, Karin Deijer, minimalist, Mr. Sims and Planningtorock, The Knife, Tomorrow in a Year
Part of our ISSUE 21 Coverage!
PREVIEW: Visit The Knife’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 14/20 Watts
The Knife’s Tomorrow, In a Year could best be described best as precise art. The two-disc electro-opera is based on Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Here Swedish duo Karin and Olof Dreijer, collaborating with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock, prove themselves as masters of the studio and experimentation.
The album is a journey – an electronic opera that starts spaciously and gradually gives way to more textured and structured songs. Some may appear alien at first, but then familiar – as if The Knife recorded what the Earth sounds like, electronically. In the midst of this comes the operatic soprano of Kristina Wahlin along with two other vocalists, providing a human element over meticulously-chosen chord changes.
Headphones may be the best method to truly immerse one’s self in The Knife’s singularly unique experience. The album’s “Intro” starts with a minimalist approach, coinciding with the beginning of life. Once “Epochs” begins, vocals move to the front and offer a sense of grounding in unfamiliar musical territory.
Toward the end of the record, on songs such as “Colouring of Pigeons” and “The Height of Summer,” the music grows more detailed, full-bodied and accessible. Just as simple organisms evolved over time to grow more complex and refined, so does Tomorrow, In a Year.
— Gene Wexler