Music Review

Fever Ray – Radical Romantics

todayMarch 16, 2023 210

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By Kristi Houk

Recommended if you like – The Knife. Zola Jesus, Bjork, early Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno

“We Don’t Come With a Manual,” Karin Dreijer aka Fever Ray utters on “Looking for a Ghost” off her latest album (it’s been 6 years) Radical Romantics as if she’s sucking all of the air out of the room and throwing it back up and I mean that in the best way.


The Swedish singer-songwriter (also one-half of the sibling duo— The Knife) is back with a collection of moody, brooding, often funny synth-pop gems about…well…a lot of things, but mostly love, trust, and longing. This makes sense since Dreijer, who currently identifies as non-binary, has stated that they have been reading “so much bell hooks.”  There are also several references to spices, particularly cinnamon which is apropos considering the spice symbolizes fertility, love, and protection.  Radical Romantics feels lighter, and more playful than their former album Plunge (2017) but no less antsy. How many songs can you name about seeking revenge on your child’s high school bully?  That’s presumably what the single, “Even it Out” is all about. Featuring boops and blips from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Dreijer warns with a snarl:

This is for Zacharias

Who bullied my kid in high school
There’s no room for you
And we know where you live
One day, we might come after you (after you)
Taking back what’s ours (ours)
And then we cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut

My favorite track off the album is the slinky, grinding “Shiver.” Reminiscent of the throbbing genius that is “Dancing on my Own” by fellow Swede—Robyn. The yearnings are similar: both looking to be seen. Pretty universal.



Radical Romantics is easily an early favorite of the year thus far. It’s deep. It’s fun. It’s soft and hard. It contains multitudes.


Stand out tracks – “Shiver,” “What They Call Us,” “Kandy,” “Even it Out”

Written by: kristi houk

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