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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bjork: "Volta"

It's becoming cliched to shell out praise to Bjork. With every album she releases, every single that hits the airwaves, more and more people are giving her the attention and accolades that she truly deserves. I mean, come on! How could you not love her? Aside from possessing what is arguably the strongest voice of any female vocalist today, she is also the most imaginative and one of the few artists who are willing to steer clear of mainstream music. Her previous effort, "Medulla" was genius in it's use of the human voice and managed to become an all-time favorite for me. As such, "Volta" has pretty big expectations to live up to. Thankfully, Bjork has once again succeeded in creating an album that is both musically amazing and deep in complexity.

The lead-off track and first single "Earth Intruders" is a fantastic way to begin an album. It's upbeat and frenetic production, done by none other than the always-awesome Timbaland, is the true appeal of the song. The mega producer does a stand-up job of blending his flawless production with Bjork's sometimes overpowering voice. The song is amazing from start to finish, and without a doubt the best example of what "Volta" is all about. "Wanderlust" introduces brass instrumentation into the mix, an ongoing theme throughout the album, and adds layers upon layers of Bjork's vocals. It's a very strange way to make a song, but at the same time it's incredibly rewarding with a good pair of headphones.

On "The Dull Flame of Desire" the brass horns lead off with a fanfare-ish segue into this beautiful duet with Antony Hegarty. His voice is just as strangely awesome as Bjork's, and the two vocalists complement each other extremely well here. "Innocence" increases the pace a little bit, with a beat that is 50% energy / 50% genius. Bjork sings the catchy chorus "When I once was innocent, it is still here but in different places" perfectly, while adding some periodic falsetto to deepen the vocals.

"Vertebrae by Vertebrae" once again utilizes the brooding brass band to form what is a somewhat frightening songs. When she softly sings, "Vertebrae by vertebrae" you can't help but freak out just a little bit. "Declare Independence" features a literally screaming Bjork, obviously touching on a subject that she takes very seriously. Though it almost seems silly at first, by the time the song comes to an end and Bjork is screaming "DON'T LET THEM DO THAT TO YOU!" it's hard not to let it find that soft spot in your heart (Primarily, because it beats itself in). The song uses a guitar synthesizer (more specifically "FL Slayer" from Fruity Loops) brilliantly to create a truly amazing song.

In the end, "Volta" is not Bjork's greatest album, neither is it her worst. Like most of her other albums, it contains some truly memorable tracks that will undoubtedly go down as classics and others that miss the mark. "Volta" is a terrific album in spite of it's dragging moments, and there is more than enough magic contained in it's playtime to sustain even the most cynical of Bjork's fans. If you're a fan of Bjork, there's no reason for you to not check out this album. If you're not a're probably not even reading this.

Recommended for fans of Bjork, especially those who have been longing for a new addition to their collection.

Key Tracks:
1. "Earth Intruders"
2. "The Dull Flame of Desire"
3. "Innocence"
4. "Declare Independence"
5. "My Juvenile"

8 out of 10 Stars

1 comment:

Juri said...

I like Bjork too . She really is unique and her songs are ... so deepminded ...

Take care ...

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