May 17, 2007

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Björk, Volta
Atlantic/Wea, 2007

Brass, bass and synth bleepery weave a lush foundation of off-kilter rhythm and beat droppings for Björk to ignore as she vacillates from twee flitterings to conversational speeches to deep-breath-shoulders-cocked-give-it-to-the-back-row yowls. Volta isn’t going to bring anyone into the Björk fold, despite the noticeable thumbprint of hip-hop producer Timbaland on its two bangers “Earth Intruders” and “Innocence.” Iceland’s most notorious excentric benefits greatly from the massive collaborations on Volta by injecting a little something for every Björk fan onboard. It’s as if a dozen musicians were asked to make their favorite never-produced Björk tune and then SURPRISE! here’s Björk to record it with you. Sure, Volta’s front end captures some of the urgency that Post and Homogenic had (though it is sans the sheer epic emotion of the latter) but closing tracks “Declare Independance” and “My Juvenile” with Antony Hegarty touch on my least favorite Björk-eries; semi-skronk chanting and overly poetic duets. Everyday fans will find Volta comfortably approachable while her more fetishistic disciples will grok the new depths of quirk and musical experimentation that bubble up at its waning. A-Glenn Given.