Fever Ray: Radical Romantics (Mute) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, November 30th, 2023  

Fever Ray

Radical Romantics


Mar 10, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Having now released only three full-length records in 14 years, Karin Dreijer’s solo project Fever Ray is establishing a trend of years-long stretches between albums. But as with 2017’s Plunge and 2009’s self-titled debut, Radical Romantics proves worth the wait.

Mining sounds resembling a smorgasbord of all their past persuasions tied up into a dynamic package with slick production, Fever Ray channel their inner Björk while exploring the exotic side of glossy electronic dance music with richly layered sonic wallpaperings. On Radical Romantics, Dreijer is aided by their brother and fellow The Knife member Olof Dreijer, along with collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Nine Inch Nails), Portuguese DJ and producer Nídia, three members of the Technicolor dance music project Aasthma (Johannes Berglund, Peder Mannerfelt, and Pär Grindvik), and experimental artist and producer Vessel. The result is a musical virtual reality that sounds like it comes from indigenous people deep within a futuristic rainforest, or one on another planet entirely.

At first the 10 tracks on Radical Romantics seem to be a continuation of the frothy synth lines, tribal beats, and shrilling electronic percussives heard on Plunge, but further examination unmasks a fresh, less aggressive take as big airy synths and beats with a tropical vibe provide some warmth amongst the chill.

But while the music has mutated, Dreijer’s unique, multi-layered voice and feral style are as steady and sharp as usual and act as a common thread linking the tracks into a cohesive album that is sophisticated and sensual. And ever the sound manipulation experts, Fever Ray somehow avoid the sterile pitfalls associated with crystal clear production while providing a dreamy, mysterious flow along the way.

Scrupulous in its detail, Radical Romantics is both innovative and entertaining, showcasing an original and unique spin on nuanced electro rock with seductive grooves. (www.feverray.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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