The Knife - Tomorrow, In A Year
This radical opera crackles with genius and creativity, even if it does upset the traditionalists.
To try to imagine a scenario where you might want to listen to an electronic opera about Charles Darwin's evolution theory would be to miss the point of Tomorrow, In A Year entirely. But equally, to appreciate this soundtrack without its visual façade is by no means straightforward either. Anyone expecting more pulsating Nordic electronica from The Knife will have to endure a first half of Amazonian field recordings, inscrutable vocal interplay and jarring feedback. Weird doesn't begin to cover it. But there is payback for more adventurous listeners. The metallic clang of Variation of Birds gives way to beguiling operatics, and even the most non-musical stretches at least sound interesting. CD2 is rather more accessible: The Height of Summer could be an offcut from Silent Shout, and the aptly named Tumult gives way to Colouring of Pigeon's irresistable heartbeat and primordial cello. This radical opera crackles with genius and creativity, even if it does upset the traditionalists. Darwin would approve. [Nick Mitchell]