Bjork
Volta


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dylan S. USER (68 Reviews)
January 15th, 2011 | 19 replies | 3,823 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Bjork Train just keeps pushing onward.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

To begin a description of Icelandic native, Bjork's music career is no easy task. The woman has always been one of innovation, slightly evolving with each album so none sound exactly the same, but never sounding too drastically different either. Her first venture into a solo career as an adult, properly titled Debut, was a very jazzy and typically upbeat affair, while its follow up, Post, was Bjork exploring her more emotional and electronic side. It was her third album Homogenic though, where it seemed Bjork had reached her most comfortable spot. Being sort of a blend of both her past albums, Homogenic used trip hop inspired beats with some very dark, yet emotionally wailing vocals tearing through each song with such a dense beauty.

Never to do the same thing twice, Bjork changed her sound once again with Vespertine, a very organic and epic masterpiece of her most sensual and personal state. Debatably her best work, Vespertine was going to be a very difficult album to follow up for Bjork. She tried to take a much more human and pure approach to music with Medulla, an album that is almost purely a cappella, dealing with subjects like human origins and family blood ties. While not bad by any means, the album does not come anywhere near the massive pieces of artwork that Bjork has created prior.

That is where Volta comes in.

Wiping the slate clean yet again, Bjork went back to the drawing board for this album. Essentially the exact opposite of Medulla, Volta is very music and beat heavy with a full brass section blasting in almost every song. The opening track, "Earth Intruders" in particular has a very unique beat structure. It takes the very modern and industrial sounds of marching and what could be described as 'factory sounds,' but deconstructs them and arranges the noises into a very tribal, African inspired rhythm. And of course Bjork's heavenly voice guides the way through the madness with a loud and soaring appeal. Suddenly though the song comes to a dramatic halt and ends with a very unexpected foghorn solo. Sounds ridiculous right? Absolutely. This horn section though provides a very graceful entrance into the following song "Wanderlust," which can essentially be summed up as "Earth Intruders Part Two."

The following song "The Dull Flame Of Desire," is where the album really takes off though. Featuring the hauntingly wonderful vocals Antony Hegarty, her and Bjork weave their way through the song with such majesty over the backdrop of horns and a very subtle drumming. Bjork has never really been one to have guest vocalists on her songs, but her duet with Hegarty works quite well in this case. He even appears on another track, "My Juvenile," a very minimalistic song that bounces between beautiful and boring in a very uncomfortable manner, almost sounds more fitting for a Medulla b-side.

"Hope," on the other hand returns to the tribal sounds heard previously on the album, but this time mixes the beat with the swift plucking of what sounds to be a koto, an instrument also heard on "I See Who You Are," where it is strummed viciously creating a very unusual soundscape. Flowing with Bjork's sensual singing, the koto fits in very well with the tone of the album and creates a very organic beauty, not much unlike her Vespertine days.

The album comes to its absolute best with "Declare Independence," a beast of a protest song in which Bjork shouts and wails like she never has before over a beat that's so dense and haunting it could be an outtake of a Nine Inch Nails song. A third of the way in, the drums take hold of the song creating a militaristic style of stomping and marching. As the song progresses, Bjork's voice gets louder and more vicious, overall leaving one hell of a song in the same vein as "Pluto" of Homogenic, and creating the climax of an album that flows so excellently like a well oiled machine.

"Here's my version of it, eternal whirlwind
What's the lesser of two evils:
If a suicide bomber
Made to look pregnant
Manages to kill her target
Or not?
What's the lesser of two evils:
If she kills them
Or dies in vain?
Nature has fixed no limits on our hopes
What's the lesser of two evils:
If the bomb was fake
Or if it was real?
Here's my version of it
Eternal whirlwind
I have fostered since childhood
Well I don't care
Love is all
I dare to drown
To be proven wrong"

-Hope, Bjork



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user ratings (440)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Rick van Veldhuizen (4)
If you put out so much masterpieces, even an excellent album feels like a disappointment....

MonstersInsideMe (4)
Volta is Bjork’s 6th LP that incorporates a mix of swishing electronic beats, giant trumpets, and ...

Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4)
Timbaland, brass choirs, Antony Hegarty, foghorns, and Bjork. Good together....


Comments:Add a Comment 
robertsona
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2011



14989 Comments


bjork is so good

dylantheairplane
January 15th 2011



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I am sooo not a fanboy..............


50TH REVIEW WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Drsmith4
January 15th 2011



1712 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Make sure the comma is outside the [/i] box.

Gyromania
January 15th 2011



15200 Comments


This album actually really surprised me. Some great, great stuff here. Great review, Dylan.

Tyrael
January 15th 2011



20738 Comments


God I hate this album so much... but hey good review.

Gyromania
January 15th 2011



15200 Comments


Tyraelxy, I get the feeling that you and I are polar opposites when it comes to music preferences.

Tyrael
January 15th 2011



20738 Comments


Also in the quality of our reviews... haha. (ur on the good side) hey my rating dissapeared

Gyromania
January 15th 2011



15200 Comments


Haha, oh stop that!

Tyrael
January 15th 2011



20738 Comments


Nah, but we really do have completely different writing styles. And not to mention my insane love for
metal...

CelestialDust
January 15th 2011



3155 Comments


never sounding to drastically different

such an dense beauty

"The Dull Flame Of Desire," is there the album really takes off


just some simple mistakes, I liked the review

Spare
January 15th 2011



5252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

worst björk album, still awesome

Digging: Radiator Hospital - Torch Song

conradtao
Emeritus
January 15th 2011



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I adore Dull Flame of Desire, Vertebrae By Vertebrae, and Pneumonia.

But Innocence..bleh.

Good review!

Gyromania
January 15th 2011



15200 Comments


Conrad, we share the same favorites.

STOP SHOUTING!
January 15th 2011



631 Comments


don't know why you quoted all those lyrics at the end?

beefshoes
January 15th 2011



2892 Comments


I want some plowtime with the 1995 version of Bjork.

Digging: Ulver - Messe I.X-VI.X

STOP SHOUTING!
January 15th 2011



631 Comments


double post.

conradtao
Emeritus
January 15th 2011



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Conrad, we share the same favorites.

Not surprising ;]

AtavanHalen
January 15th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

NECESSARY VOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODOOOOOO

dylantheairplane
January 16th 2011



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

*edited


but thanks for the pos muh sputnikers



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