Album Review

Volta

Volta

by bjork


8 / 10
16th November 2007

Reviewed by XTine


Bjork releases her sixth full length studio album, Volta just in time for fans to get reacquainted with her before her first trip Downunder in 12 years for January 2008's the Big Day out....

Volta's first track and first single is the thumping, electronic 'Earth Intruders' produced by uber-cool hip hip producer, Timbaland. With obviously amazing production and robotic beats, Bjork's experimental vocal style skillfully wraps around the music creating a tight, innovative, poppy track that is destined to be a big hit with old and new Bjork fans. Volta boosts an all female Icelandic brass band, which she will be bringing on tour to the Big Day Out next January. I was a huge fan of Bjork's early 90's albums, Debut and Post and it's great to hear her same classic high and low vocal style emerging again.




Second track 'Wanderlust' starts with foghorns, gulls and bells that transport you to a foggy wharf in chilly Iceland, then turns gently into a lovely, eccentric tune. I love her voice in this song, it really is old-school Bjork, if there really is such a thing! 'The Dull Flame of Desire' is a duet with Antony from Antony & the Johnson's and the lyrics are taken from an Icelandic poem by FyodorTyutchev. This track starts with very somber horns and sounds very operatic with Antony's distinctive vocal style, this song would be perfect in a film soundtrack, it just has that epic quality to it...Timbaland's 'Innocence' cranks up the pace again with squelchy programming, hip hop beats, glitches and Bjork's expressive vocals. This is one of my favorite tracks on Volta.

'I see who you are' is soft, dark and romantic, Bjork sings of her lover's aging body as her voice rises and falls passionately.' Pneumonia' features mournful horns and is starkly emotional and serene all at once, while 'Hope' comes in with minimal strings and finishes softly with a ship's lonely horn. 'Declare Independence' starts off wonderfully with industrial synth sounds and scraping samples as Bjork sings of the Faroe Islands and Greenland declaring independence from their current government, Denmark. This track gets abit over the top and annoying after awhile, it is produced by Mark Bell who is a British musician and producer of electronic house music and has worked with Depeche Mode in the past. 'My Juvenile' brings back Antony dueting with Bjork; this final track was written about her older son Sinri, she sings of her guilt of letting him do too much as a child.

Volta is a complex, schizophrenic offering that is sometimes difficult to listen to; with gentle and romantic songs wedged in with thumping electronic tracks. Fans of Debut and Post should buy this album, as Bjork has returned with the vocal style that gained her alot of her hardcore fans in the 1990's







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