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The Knife: Shaking the Habitual

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Swedish siblings Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson must have been raised by witches. Their songs cast a heady spell, no matter how dark and transgressive they get. Plus, they can make a sugary pop hook sound deliciously demonic. The duo's new album, Shaking the Habitual, lures listeners into more experimental territory than 2006's Silent Shout. Though some of Shaking's tracks aren't especially accessible, they're alluring enough for repeated listening.

Opener "A Tooth for an Eye" examines the fine line between agony and ecstasy lyrically and sonically, and "Ready to Lose" closes the album with the icy, percussive melodies that define the Knife's sound. But the standouts are "Raging Lung," which melds synthetic and organic sounds masterfully, and "Cherry on Top," which might be the world's most disturbing ode to dessert.

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