Independent release, 2016

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Knower’s fourth album Life starts off with the introduction number “KNOWER RULEZ,” which has the words in the title repeated with celebratory pomp. It sets the perfect stage for what’s to come – the sheer gall in this Los Angeles-based duo’s music.

You see, for the ones who don’t know, both members of this duo (singer/songwriter Genevieve Artadi and multi-instrumentalist Louis Cole) come from strict jazz backgrounds, both having graduated from Jazz Studies programs. The duo’s music, however, is a concoction of jazz, funk, and most importantly, supersized beats. The result of this combination is an album with a sense of both crudeness and simplicity, which only comes from deep musical sophistication – not to mention lots of sass.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“The Government Knows,” a track about government surveillance, has the chorus “the government knows when you masturbate” and has lyrics that are rapped in robotic monotone, which totally come across as crass. But the musical arrangement, which consists of beats that pound with rabid aggression and parts of the song that slow down from hyper dance to relaxing jazz, is far from crass. It is downright classy.

“BUTTS TITS MONEY,” with its coarsely suggestive lyrics and cheesy synthesizers, has aspects that are jarring. But everything put together has a certain hutzpah that makes this cut very cool. The calming, ethereal jazzy twist towards the end of this rambunctious number takes you entirely by a most pleasant surprise. It’s a good example of the duo’s songcrafting savviness.

On “Hanging On” and “Overtime” the duo adds some serious ‘80s-style funk into the music. This, combined with the smooth jazz aspects and Artadi’s speaking style of singing, lends an overall tacky ‘80s dance party vibe to both the tracks. But as a matter of fact, both these numbers are absolutely classy and are even album highlights, thanks to the killer bass lines and the brilliant big beats that give the dated musical aesthetics a refreshing new twist.

The duo’s interpretation of jazz and electronic music is creative, to say the least. Atradi and Cole aim pretty high, when it comes to the level of musical composition and production on Life. Although it doesn’t take much to realize this, it is also easy to forget the seriousness of the duo’s artistry because of how thoroughly fun they have made this album.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2018 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.