Björk | Volta

May 11, 2007 at 7:43 am (Bjork, mp3s, Reviews)

 Volta

I trying out a new review style for Volta; track by track. This is the perfect album to do something like this with, considering how different each track is. So, with no further ado, my track by track review of Volta.

 

 

01. Earth Intruders

One of my least favorite tracks. It’s  easy to dance to, but there’s just a little too much going on in it. You’d think a Björk/Timbaland collaboration would be brilliant, but they end up crowding each other. I suppose that’s just the ‘two chefs’ logic at work. Considering how great Björk’s singles usually are, this a disappointment.

 

02. Wanderlust

A classic Björk track. The vocals have adequate space to grow, and they do just that. After Medulla, it’s great to hear the brass back in full effect. The best part, however, are the lyrics, in which Björk sings about her insatiable thirst for something new. This is most epic song on the album, much more so than than the seven-minute behemoth that follows it.

 

03. The Dull Flame Of Desire

It starts out well, and for a moment you think this could become a classic Björk love song. Then Antony kicks in, and you think, “okay, so it’s going to be mediocre”. Around the four minute mark, you start wondering when it’s going to end. It has very little to say for such a long song.

 

04. Innocence (mp3)

The second Timbaland collaboration, thankfully, turns out much better than the first. You can hear Timbaland’s beats clearly, but they’ve been toyed with to suit Björk. It works well with her vocals, and makes for one of the better straight dance songs Björk has done in a while. I don’t really understand why this wasn’t the first single.

 

05. I See Who You Are

This is a little like ‘The Dull Flame . . .’, but without Antony, and less boring. The strings here are beautiful, and the lyrics excellent. The slow, heavy beat is a nice retreat after ‘Innocence’. A good track, but the alternative mix you get with an iTunes purchase is better.

 

06. Vertebrae By Vertebrae

My second favorite track. On full volume, the brass here will tear tight through you. It’s the first track that features Björk’s guttural shouts, which should send chills up your spine. The lyrics are a little odd, but once you learn what they’re about, the song becomes downright chilling.

 

07. Pneumonia

This one took me a little while to get. At first I thought it was boring, but after a few listens, I started to like it. It’s by far the slowest, gentlest song on the album. Once again, the brass is excellent, as is the soothing trickle of water in the background. Very beautiful.

 

08. Hope

What you’ve heard about this track isn’t entirely true. While the lyrics aren’t necessarily bad, they don’t really make a lot of sense, either. If you don’t pay attention to what she’s saying, however, Björk sounds quite nice here. The strings and percussion are also top-notch.

 

09. Declare Independence (mp3)

Do I even have to say anything about this track? You’ve seen it in videos, and probably heard it live. It’s the obvious masterpiece, with its slow build of noise and cacophonous beat. Not only is this the best track on the album, it’s one of the best tracks Björk has ever done. Pure brilliance.

 

10. My Juvenile

Maybe it’s just because this comes after ‘Declare Independence’, but this track feels completely unnecessary. It’s the second Antony collaboration, and he sounds even worse after so long without him. This track should have been left of, or at least placed earlier in the album. Its placement makes no sense.

 

Discuss Volta

Advertisements

11 Comments

  1. Divine Intervention said,

    I do agree with you about the length of Dull Flame of Desire, it just seems to go on and on, but I thought that marrying of Bjork and Antony was fantastic. It was much much better than her previous collaboration with Thom Yorke.

  2. baltmann said,

    After all the hype, I feel a bit letdown with this release. It’s very good in spots, mostly the ones you pointed out, though I think I like Earth Intruders a bit more. I’m left wondering if she can ever top what I consider to be her most completely satisfying long player, Vespertine. Especially in the DVD 5.1 version. An awesome experience…..BTW, you never post your final thoughts on the National’s latest release…..

  3. dtags21 said,

    Like the website. Especially the Bjork review. You really gave some insight into the new album.

  4. A.J. said,

    innocence is true gold, but the other tracks make me wish Bjørk would stop behaving so obviously avant garde… it gets tired.

  5. Liam said,

    I agree with you, Volta has got just a few good gems, and its nice to see someone else appreciate Vertebrae by Vertebrae as much as I do!

  6. michael said,

    volta is amazing to me
    however, i find vespertine as my favorite
    only because of subject matter
    and the fact that
    til then
    minimalistic beats were never
    shown in a field that utilized
    them so well
    volta would’ve been a bit better
    if the tracks meshed more
    however, all the tracks are great
    by themselves
    whereas homogenic and vespertine
    it felt like everything fit perfectly with eachother
    i love antony and wish they would’ve
    used his voice more
    maybe a bit more experimental
    than his obvious characteristics
    i don’t think this album is avant garde at all really
    compared to everything else coming out
    it seems more like a marriage between the pop
    of debut and post with the creativity of medulla

    i think one of the best things about the album
    is the transition between tracks
    the muddy, swamp marching from earth intruders
    that seamlessly goes into the harbor horns
    of wanderlust
    is a great thing!

  7. artzcritz said,

    Track by track is a good way to review Volta, since each track takes you to a different kind of place. But how do you feel about the big picture? I think it’s a problematic album.

  8. troy. said,

    Couldn’t agree more with your comments on The Dull Flame Of Desire. I painfully listened to it once, all the way through, knowing it would be the last time I would hear the song. Same goes for My Juvenile — I just don’t get it. And I’ve honestly tried.

  9. iMonkey said,

    Since the Dull Flame is a translation of a Russian poet, I have to love it. The vocals are a bit muddy, but still. Two of my favorite musicians sing together, could I ask for more? Same with My Juvenile, pure tenderness.
    As for the whole album, yep, a bit disappointing (Vespertine and Medülla still are my favorites), but after a certain time I learned to love it.

  10. i said,

    now i’m listening the DVD version i just got.
    it has changed my approach to the album.
    all the songs have definetly more … body? in the DVD version.
    the horns kinda vibrate a lot… in vertebrae by vertebrae you’re just surrounded by doznes of them… it makes it a more emotional experience…
    i will just never like Declare Independence… just can’t take it seriously. like it a bit more in 5.1 thou…
    even My Juvenile sounds interesting…
    one last thought… feels like tracks 1, 2 & 6 (maybe 80% of the album also) are simply made for 5.1, there are just too many layers for 2 channels.
    Wanderlust sounds simply amazing.

  11. lucas boden said,

    I do not really understand the critical appeal of Antony. People say his voice makes them see God or something. Personally, I cannot stand his voice and I cringe whenever his voice shows up in this album.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: