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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Björk -- Volta

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7/10

Björk's sixth album, Volta, follows a very simple rule:
If a song's got a bunch of horns, it's good. If it doesn't have a bunch of horns, it isn't.
Björk worked with producer Timbaland on three of Volta's tracks. Those three don't really have any horns. Go figure. The true problem with this album isn't necessarily Timbaland, though. The problem is that Volta sounds like Björk only realized what the musical theme of the album could be when time had already run out. If I haven't pounded in what that theme is by now, it involves horns. All the best songs on Volta have them. One of these songs, "The Dull Flame of Desire," is one of the best Björk has ever done. It's also one of her only duets, and she should really, really do more:

There are plenty of lovely songs like this one, though I am particularly partial to "I See Who You Are." The problem is that there just aren't enough of them. Volta turns out to be Björk's album that could have been. If she had stuck to the tribal percussion + horns sound, she could have been looking at another classic. Instead we get some good tribal percussion/horn mashups mixed in with laser gun pew-pew Timbaland dance songs that just don't work. Man, I still can't even talk about it...

2007 Atlantic
1. Earth Intruders 6:13
2. Wanderlust 5:51
3. The Dull Flame of Desire 7:30
4. Innocence 4:27
5. I See Who You Are 4:22
6. Vertebrae by Vertebrae 5:08
7. Pneumonia 5:14
8. Hope 4:02
9. Declare Independence 4:13
10. My Juvenile 4:03

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