The Knife - Deep Cuts
Deep Cuts is the 2003 album that lives up to The Knife’s name. A seething dissection of the status quo dressed up in the most delicious of hooks; a Trojan Horse of a pop record that dreamt of a revolution.
Olof: “I liked the idea of packaging socialist and feminist ideas in a pop format because I believe that strategy. I don’t think it’s a great idea doing experimental music that only the elite understand.”
Karin: “Making Deep Cuts, yes, we had quite a clear idea. It was trying to make something more modern. We decided to use plugins and programs that were cheap or for free.”
On their second studio album, The Knife’s storytelling is sharp enough to draw blood. Everything is fair game for the chopping board: an abusive relationship, the patriarchy, heteronormativity, the police state. There is confidence and clarity in the album’s skewering of oppressive structures, but also admissions of severe anxiety. To survive modern day society is to dance between public and private selves; to push against conventionality and somehow still find space to heal.
+ Magenta colour vinyl.
Satire is the stone to The Knife’s blade on Deep Cuts, but it’s their ear-worm melodies that really did damage. Their sonic arsenal included serrated synths aplenty and lots of steel drums.
Karin: “Yeah, we kind of liked steel drums.”
Olof: “Electronic plastic fake ones.”
The album’s biggest hits — “Heartbeats,” “Pass This On,” and “You Take My Breath Away” — spliced their singalong choruses with an urgent queer sexuality: “I don’t like the straight way,” informs the latter. To date, their dalliances with pop’s primary currency, the music video, had circled more DIY forms. But they took a chance on something more polished for “Pass This On’s” intriguing tale of infatuation.
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