Plunge (album)

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Plunge
Fever Ray Plunge.jpg
Studio album by Fever Ray
Released 27 October 2017 (2017-10-27)
Genre
Length 46:56
Label
Producer
  • Karin Dreijer
  • Johannes Berglund
  • Peder Mannerfelt
  • Paula Temple
  • Tami T
  • Nídia
  • Deena Abdelwahed
Fever Ray chronology
Fever Ray
(2009)Fever Ray2009
Plunge
(2017)
Singles from Plunge
  1. "To the Moon and Back"
    Released: 20 October 2017
  2. "Wanna Sip"
    Released: 23 January 2018
  3. "IDK About You"
    Released: 1 March 2018

Plunge is the second studio album by Fever Ray, an alias of Swedish musician Karin Dreijer. It was released on 27 October 2017 through Rabid Records. It is her first album in nearly nine years, following her 2009 eponymous debut. The album was largely recorded in Dreijer's Stockholm studio in collaboration with producers Paula Temple, Deena Abdelwahed, Nídia, Tami T, Peder Mannerfelt, and Johannes Berglund.[1]

The album was preceded by the lead single "To the Moon and Back", which was released a week before the album. It was later supported by two more singles, "Wanna Sip" and "IDK About You". The album received acclaim from music critics, who praised its directly political and sexual themes alongside deconstructed club beats and catchy electronic hooks.[2][3]

Release and promotion[edit]

Plunge was surprise released on 27 October 2017 with no prior announcement.[1] It was released a week after the release of the lead single, "To the Moon and Back".[4] Prior to the release of the single on 20 October, Dreijer shared two teaser videos titled "Switch Seeks Same" and "A New Friend" on 16 and 18 October, respectively. Both teasers included the word "Plunge", leading to speculations of a new album.[5] The first teaser samples the songs "Red Trails" and "An Itch", while the second teaser samples "This Country". The album was released physically on vinyl and CD on 23 February 2018.[1]

On 23 January 2018, Dreijer released a music video for the second single "Wanna Sip",[6] and on 16 February, she released a music video for "IDK About You", which was released as the third single on 1 March.[7][8]

In February and March 2018, Dreijer headed on a European tour in support of the album,[9] while in May 2018 she embarked on a North American tour.[10]

Composition[edit]

Plunge contains aggressive beats and synths, and showcases a more varied sound than that of Fever Ray.[11][12] Release Magazine described the album as "some absolutely cracking experimental electronic pop."[13] Dreijer's voice is notably not hidden behind pitch-shifting as it was on Fever Ray, but instead, is "sharpened and pushed high in the mix, the better to emphasize her strange, elastic, playful diction."[14] Pitchfork stated that the album "feels much more manic" and "conflicted" than her debut, while noting that in oppose to the numbness and "penumbral chill" of Fever Ray, Plunge "puts the heat and light back into her alias: the fever, the radiance, the beams emanating from red-ringed eyes."[14] Lyrically, the album focuses on themes of love and desire with a striking candor. It features Dreijer's most verbose, dense and direct lyrics, and was said to be "political in a way Dreijer has not been before."[14][15]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic87/100[16]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[17]
The A.V. ClubA−[18]
Mixmag8/10[19]
Mojo4/5 stars[20]
The Observer4/5 stars[21]
Pitchfork8.7/10[14]
Record Collector5/5 stars[22]
The Skinny5/5 stars[23]
Uncut8/10[24]
ViceA−[25]

Plunge received widespread acclaim from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 87, based on 21 reviews.[16] Pitchfork writer Philip Sherburne called it a "thrillingly restless album", "riskier than anything she has made before. It is sometimes harsh, often dissonant, frequently audacious."[14] Nina Corcoran of Consequence of Sound said Dreijer "pushes herself to new limits, and it feels entirely individualistic," continuing: "The instrumentation and Dreijer's primal delivery of the lyrics make Plunge a gripping follow-up that upstages its predecessor. Fever Ray made you self-aware of your mind. Plunge makes you self-aware of your body, what it's capable of, and how good it feels to move in your skin."[26] Adam Turner-Heffer from Drowned in Sound wrote, "Dreijer has cemented her place within alternative music's dynasty, and it's refreshing to hear an outwardly queer and fiercely political artist convey a clear message without having the music, performance or reception fall over the potential weight of those themes. For as much as Plunge quite clearly contains these themes, it can and will be enjoyed as a universally creditable piece of brilliantly constructed art, and that is Dreijer's real success here."[27] Writing for Vice, Robert Christgau lauded Dreijer's sex-positive message: "The title instrumental leads directly to 'I want to run my fingers up your pussy' and an open if complicated beyond. Take the plunge, she's hinting. It'll be fine. You'll be glad you did."[25]

The A.V. Club's Matt Gerardi praised the album, stating that it lies "in its ability to change on a dime, to provoke—intermittently and from one listen to the next—confusion, shock, laughter, enlightenment, and ultimately admiration."[18] Spin critic Arielle Gordon called it Dreijer's boldest album.[28] In his review for Pretty Much Amazing, Colin Groundwater said, "Plunge is a worthy addition to Dreijer's career discography, and fans of Fever Ray and the Knife are sure to enjoy it. It's an energetic and erotic record that may very well soundtrack some of the freakier parties you attend this fall. Still, it doesn't capture the full scope of Dreijer's ambition."[29] The Skinny gave the album a perfect score, with Katie Hawthorne deeming it as "endlessly innovative", writing: "Plunge befits the return of an iconic creative voice. Dreijer's politics are written on her body, and she's asking you to dive in. You won't need telling twice."[23] Andrew Ryce of Resident Advisor wrote, "It never feels like Dreijer is playing catch-up. Plunge is the natural next step, a realization of impulses that have long lain dormant, or at least unrecognized."[30] Andy Jex of MusicOMH wrote, "This is a joyous artistic rebirth, its creator shaking her tail feathers, pushing her own boundaries and immersed in emotion and whim brought out from within."[31] AllMusic gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, with reviewer Heather Phares concluding that "The journey to dive into commitment that Dreijer takes her listeners on with Plunge boasts more moods and colors than Fever Ray's debut, or any single Knife album; ultimately, it's some of her most powerful work with yet."[17]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
AllMusic AllMusic's Best Albums of 2017 N/A
The A.V. Club 20 Best Albums of 2017
7
BrooklynVegan BrooklynVegan's Top 50 Albums of 2017
21
Crack Magazine Top 100 Albums of 2017
3
Dazed The 20 Best Albums of 2017
5
Drowned in Sound Favourite Albums of 2017
82
Exclaim! Top 10 Dance and Electronic Albums of 2017
8
Fact The 50 Best Albums of 2017
16
Highsnobiety The 25 Best Albums of 2017
15
MusicOMH musicOMH's Top 50 Albums of 2017
21
New York Daily News The 25 Best Albums of 2017
22
NME Albums of the Year 2017
41
Noisey The 100 Best Albums of 2017
34
NPR The 50 Best Albums of 2017
27
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2017
9
The 20 Best Electronic Albums of 2017
1
PopMatters The 60 Best Albums of 2017
3
The Quietus Albums of the Year 2017
3
The Skinny Top 50 Albums of 2017
16
Slant Magazine The 25 Best Albums of 2017
12
Spin The 50 Best Albums of 2017
17
Sputnikmusic Top 50 Albums of 2017
24
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2017
12
Under the Radar Under the Radar's Top 100 Albums of 2017
32

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Wanna Sip"
  • Mannerfelt
  • Dreijer
3:28
2."Mustn't Hurry"Dreijer
  • Paula Temple
  • Johannes Berglund
  • Dreijer
4:17
3."A Part of Us"
  • Dreijer
  • Tami T
  • Tami T
  • Mannerfelt
  • Dreijer
  • Berglund[a]
3:30
4."Falling"Dreijer
  • Mannerfelt
  • Dreijer
5:03
5."IDK About You"Dreijer
  • Nídia
  • Dreijer
  • Berglund[a]
3:40
6."This Country"Dreijer
  • Mannerfelt
  • Dreijer
3:12
7."Plunge"Dreijer
  • Mannerfelt
  • Dreijer
5:36
8."To the Moon and Back"Dreijer
  • Berglund
  • Mannerfelt
  • Dreijer
4:37
9."Red Trails"Dreijer
  • Temple
  • Berglund
4:50
10."An Itch"Dreijer
  • Deena Abdelwahed
  • Mannerfelt
  • Dreijer
3:45
11."Mama's Hand"Dreijer
  • Temple
  • Berglund
4:58
Total length:46:56

Notes

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Mute Records' official website.[56]

  • Fever Ray – vocals (tracks 1–6, 8–11); production (tracks 1–8, 10)
  • Tami T – vocals, production (track 3)
  • Johannes Berglund – production (tracks 2, 8, 9, 11); additional production (tracks 3, 5); mixing (all tracks)
  • Peder Mannerfelt – production (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6–8, 10)
  • Paula Temple – production (tracks 2, 9, 11)
  • Nídia – production (track 5)
  • Deena Abdelwahed – production (track 10)
  • Sara Parkman – violin (track 9)
  • Aldo Arechar – flutes (track 2)
  • Mandy Parnell – mastering (all tracks)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017–18) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[57] 41
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[58] 25
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[59] 153
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[60] 55
Scottish Albums (OCC)[61] 26
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[62] 33
UK Albums (OCC)[63] 77

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Ref.
Various 27 October 2017 Rabid Records Digital download [64]
United States Mute Records
Canada
Various 23 February 2018 Rabid Records [65]
United States Mute Records
Canada

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Myers, Owen (31 October 2017). "On the queer pleasures of Fever Ray's Plunge". The Fader. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  3. ^ Izabela Trigwell, Monika (1 November 2017). "Fever Ray Plunge". Electricity Club. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Fever Ray's new album 'Plunge' is out tomorrow!". DIY. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  5. ^ Gayduk, Jane (16 October 2017). "Has Fever Ray returned?". Interview. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Wanna Sip - Single by Fever Ray on Apple Music". iTunes. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  7. ^ Monroe, Jazz (16 February 2018). "Fever Ray Starts a Cult in New Video: Watch". Pitchfork. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
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  65. ^