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Another triumph from this restless pioneer,
This review is from: Volta: Extra Tracks (Audio CD)
Long term fans of Bjork have learnt to expect the unexpected, and look forward to the twists and turns her career have taken, or at least I do. Volta continues this trend comfortably. Following 2004's fantastic Medulla, which was constructed nearly entirely from the human voice, Volta celebrates instrumentation in various forms, from militant rhythmes, pounding techno and beautifully folorn brass. And whilst her last two albums proper have had a more meticulous, subdued feel, Volta prickles with an urgency we haven't heard since the crunching electronica of Homogenic, ten years ago. This in part is thanks to her diverse selection of collaborators, from Timbaland, Konono No 1 and noise-favourites Lightning Bolt.
But, as always, this feels like a Bjork album through and through. Her voice is as strong and idiosyncratic as ever, and the choices of musical direction feel entirely hers. Few artists can pluck out so many other strong talents for help and still sound undeniably like themselves.
Highlights then. "Declare Independence" blew me away. A burst of feral anger reminiscent of "Pluto" from Homogenic, pounding and relentless, it left me breathless and I was compelled to listen to it again on first listen. "Earth Intruders" is a very strong opening, and duet with Antony Hegarty "Dull Flame Of Desire" doesn't outstay it's seven-plus minute run time by a second.
Bjork hasn't sounded like she's having this much fun since "Post" and it's infectious. So yes, Volta is another triumph. Personally speaking I still prefer Homogenic and Medulla, but Bjork albums tend to grow over time I find. At the end of the day, this is another fine addition to 2007's already impressive run of fantastic albums. Looks like being a very fine year.