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Björk

Voltaic [CD/DVD]

Format: CD   Release Date: 06/23/2009
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    Track Title

    Time

  1. Wanderlust 5:46
  2. Hunter 4:18
  3. The Pleasure Is All Mine 3:20
  4. Innocence 3:59
  5. Army of Me 4:20
  6. I Miss You 3:30
  7. Earth Intruders 3:51
  8. All Is Full of Love 4:04
  9. Pagan Poetry 5:14
  10. Vertebrae by Vertebrae 5:08
  11. Declare Independence 4:18
  12. Brennið Pið Vitar [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  13. Earth Intruders [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  14. Hunter [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  15. Immature [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  16. Jóga [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  17. The Pleasure Is All Mine [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  18. Vertebrae by Vertebrae [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  19. Where Is the Line [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  20. Who Is It [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  21. Desired Constellation [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  22. Army of Me [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  23. Bachelorette [DVD][Live]
  24. Wanderlust [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  25. Hyperballad [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  26. Pluto [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  27. Declare Independence [Live in Paris][Multimedia Track]
  28. Pneumonia [Live in Reykjavik]
  29. My Juvenile [Live in Reykjavik]
  30. Vokuró [Live in Reykjavik]
  31. Sonnets/Unrealities XI [Live in Reykjavik]
  32. Mouth's Cradle [Live in Reykjavik]

Leave it to Björk to make a live album set that can be treated as part of her regular body of work rather than a side note. While Björk fans have occasionally complained about the amount of repackaging of her albums, Voltaic reaffirms just how important the live aspect is to her music, and provides a couple of different perspectives on it as well. Volta sparked a particularly inspired and lavish tour that, arguably, ended up being bigger than the actual album was, but tapped into the most dramatic, primal, and elegant aspects of Björk's art overall. It's fitting, then, that the chronicles of the Volta tour are just as thoughtfully crafted as the shows were (and since Voltaic comes in several different releases ranging from a single live disc to a CD, DVD, and vinyl extravaganza, fans can pick the size that suits them best). This version of Voltaic offers a live CD recorded in one take at London's Olympic Studio, just hours before Björk and her band -- which included Volta collaborators Mark Bell and Chris Corsano as well as the ten-piece all-female Icelandic brass section/choir she put together for the album -- played 2007's ~Glastonbury Festival, and a DVD capturing the highlights of her Paris and Reykjavik concerts. Given that the live CD was recorded in better conditions than many studio albums get, it's no surprise that the sound quality is excellent -- almost too excellent. This is not a warts-and-all concert recording with the occasional muddy audio and lots of crowd interaction; instead, it feels like the listener is hiding in a studio booth as Björk and her band perform a flawless rehearsal. While this approach is a little removed, the results are impressive: the Volta tracks ("Earth Intruders," "Wanderlust," "Vertebrae by Vertebrae," "Declare Independence") actually have more impact here than they did on the original album, while the classic songs ("Pagan Poetry," "All Is Full of Love," "Hunter," "I Miss You") adapt to the percussion-heavy Volta approach well. The DVD gives more of a true concert experience, with eye-popping visuals, beautiful shooting and editing, and a cheering crowd. Its set list barely overlaps with the CD's, instead offering great performances of two of Medúlla's best tracks, "Where Is the Line" and "Who Is It," and a rousing finale to the Paris concert in "Pluto" and "Declare Independence" along with Post and Homogenic favorites. The Reykjavik excerpts will be especially exciting to hardcore fans -- it makes perfect sense that she saved deeper tracks like "My Juvenile" and "Vokuro" for an intimate performance in her homeland. With great audio and visuals, this version of Voltaic should please all but the most completist Björk fans. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi

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