Volta

Volta

4.0 15
by Björk
     
 

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Once again finding harmony and creating alchemy between seeming opposites, on Volta Björk is bold but thoughtful, delicate yet strong, accessible and avant. The intricacy and complexity of projects like Medúlla and Drawing Restraint 9 suggested that she might have left the more direct side of her work behind, but Volta

Overview

Once again finding harmony and creating alchemy between seeming opposites, on Volta Björk is bold but thoughtful, delicate yet strong, accessible and avant. The intricacy and complexity of projects like Medúlla and Drawing Restraint 9 suggested that she might have left the more direct side of her work behind, but Volta's opening track and lead single, "Earth Intruders," puts that notion to rest: the song literally marches in, riding a bubbling, ritualistic beat courtesy of Timbaland and Konono No. 1's electric thumb-pianos. Björk howls "Turmoil! Carnage!" like incantations over the din, and after several albums' worth of beautiful whispers, it's a joy to hear her raise her voice and volume like this. "Wanderlust" follows and provides the yin to "Earth Intruders"' yang, its horns and brooding melody giving it the feel of a moodier, more contemplative version of "The Anchor Song." These two songs set the tone for the rest of Volta's pendulum-like swings between sounds and moods, all of which are tied together by found-sound and brass-driven interludes that give the impression that the album was recorded in a harbor -- an apt metaphor for how ideas and collaborators come and go on this album. Timbaland's beats resurface on "Innocence," another of Volta's most potent moments; a sample of what sounds like a man getting punched in the gut underscores Björk's viewpoint that purity is something powerful, not gentle. Antony and the Johnsons' Antony Hegarty lends his velvety voice to two outstanding but very different love songs: "The Dull Flame of Desire" captures swooning romance by pairing Björk and Hegarty's voices with a slowly building tattoo courtesy of Lightning Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale; "My Juvenile," which is dedicated to Björk's son Sindri, closes Volta with a much gentler duet. Considering how much sonic and emotional territory the album spans -- from the brash, anthemic "Declare Independence," which sounds a bit like Homogenic's "Pluto," to "Pneumonia" and "Vertebrae by Vertebrae," which are as elliptical and gentle as anything on Vespertine or Drawing Restraint 9 -- Volta could very easily sound scattered, but this isn't the case. Instead, it finds the perfect balance between the vibrancy of her poppier work in the '90s and her experiments in the 2000s.

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Christian Hoard
1/2 Arguably Björk's loosest and most ruminative record.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/08/2007
Label:
Atlantic
UPC:
0075678998980
catalogNumber:
135868

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Björk   Primary Artist
David Bobroff   Brass
Sharon Moe   Horn
Toumani Diabaté   Kora
Susan Panny   Horn
Timbaland   Keyboards
Brian Chippendale   Drums
Chris Corsano   Percussion,Drums
Nico Muhly   Conductor
Mark Blakkat Bell   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Emil Friðfinnsson   Brass
Eiríkur Örn Pálsson   Brass
Jónas Sen   Clavichord
Sigurður Porbergsson   Brass

Technical Credits

Björk   Composer,Audio Production
Mark Bell   Audio Production
Pete Davis   Programming
Neil Dorfsman   Engineer
Vincent Kenis   Engineer
Jimmy Douglas   Engineer
Timbaland   Producer,beats
Andy Manganello   Engineer
Damian Taylor   Programming,Producer,Engineer,beats,Vocal Programming,Vocal Treatments
Héctor Castillo   Engineer
Nico Muhly   Adaptation
Mark Blakkat Bell   Programming,Producer,beats
Michael Pärt   Engineer

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Volta 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love bjork, makes true use of all instruments including voice. She has rare instruments that are ancient in use....she is so creative and amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just heard the new single Earth Intruders and it is amazing. Bjork has always been the best diva and this proves it. Flawless album made by the QUEEN ON ICELAND BJORK!
Guest More than 1 year ago
earth intruders is great! a catchy hook but not too mainstream, accessible with just the right amount of bjork-ism in it. can't wait to pick up the CD! and is that not the coolest album cover you've ever seen?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without actually listening to Bjorks new album, I'm predicting that it is going to be a big success. Bjork never fails to amaze her fans. Brilliant work!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am going to start off with this. Björk is an amazing artist. She has set herself apart in the music industry. Ever since Homogenic was released I have been a HUGE fan. I was looking forward to this album. I listened to the full album already, and while most definitely her most experimental, which is saying a TON, it's almost too crazy. Still good, but this album will take me a LONG time to get used to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
seeing as just about anyone interested in bjork has already heard earth intruders, i won't go into that. you know whether you like it or not. on first listen i didn't really like it, but then again i've felt that way about all of her albums, but the more i listen the more i REALLY like it. it has a very "earthy" feel but not in the new age sense, more like it's raw, made from dirt and sticks and it's all the more better for it. she sings with antony hegarty, from antony and the johnsons, on a couple tracks and...well, i reserve judgment on those 'cause i'm not a fan of his voice, but i know a lot of people are. no strings this go round, well, none to speak of really....so this one really does sound quite fresh compared to other bjork albums "but then again, when don't her's?" the real standout for me though is the song declare independence. wow. it's one of those love it or hate it songs and i LOVE it. it's a full on, angry, full of emotion, protest song as only bjork can do. and with just enough vagueness about it to where you can apply it to just about any group that feels the need to scream. quite fitting for the state of the world. and i love her all the more for it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just bought this album after weeks of waiting and I’m so disappointed. Apart from the first three or four songs the album is boring and headachy. I feel that I’ve simple wasted my money. I should have just bought the 'earth intruders' single, as the album offers nothing better, but much worse.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bjork has yet again released another outstanding album. This time around, she experiments with hip-hop mogul Timbaland, Konono No. 1, Icelandic brass choir, and recruits new instruments to liven up the set. Of course, they all work together to create something magnificent - Volta. The disc opens with the lead single, "Earth Intruders." Irresistably catchy with a sharp message, Bjork pulls off a modern sound without dismissing her unique style. "Wanderlust" follows, a beautiful track all around - lyrically, vocally, and rhythmically. Next is "Dull Flame Of Desire," a beautiful duet with Antony Hegarty. The brass choir elegantly breezes through as Bjork and Antony sing with gentleness. After "Innocence," the disc takes a slight decline in interest. "I See Who You Are," "Vertebrae by Vertebrae," and "Pneumonia" are all beautiful and bold standing by themselves, but when listening to them in a row "as on the CD", they become slightly droning. However, things pick up with "Hope," the last Timbaland-produced track. It's interesting lyrics and the strings with the light thumps pick "Volta" up from its slump. Then the aggressive, raging electronica of "Declare Independence" proceeds. The cut builds up from a repetitive noise, then adds lyrics and stomps, all as Bjork's voice grows louder and louder. Though it takes time to like, the cut is brilliant. Though excellent in its entirety, "Volta" seems unfinished. It only has ten songs, a few of which are almost unrecognizable from each other. With a few more up-tempo songs, "Volta" would have been perfect. But true Bjork fans will definetely be pleased.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is my first experience with bjork excluding the worst dressed page i was surprised to read that timberland produced as the beats are kindof tribal but i guess they do have his distinguishable catch. iv been playing the first 4 tracks on repeat, LOUD, like very very LOUD which i believe is the only way this album should be listened to. this sounds a bit like M.I.A only genuine, you get the impression that M.I.A fancy's herself similarly to coldplays latest effort which is a lot of bad instrumental noise... Bjork is absent of such pretensions.
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