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Björk: Selmasongs

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (9/28/00, p.56) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A particularly accessible career highlight....an appropriate marriage of industrial clanging and symphonic melodrama..."

Spin (11/00, p.197) - 8 out of 10 - "...Beguiling...evidence of [her] unstoppable growth....organic rhythms are modernized in the grand sweep of Vincent Mendoza's orchestral arrangements, with Bjork's voice the uncategorizable element in between..."

Q (11/00, pp.99-101) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...A slalom of a record, there's still enough synapse-jangling vocal invention and moments of great beauty to make it a worthy addition to [her] singular oeuvre."

Uncut (10/00, p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Hisses, stomps, thuds and buzzes which evoke everything from Einsturzende Neubaten to Fred 'n' Ginger..."

Alternative Press (12/00, p.91) - 5 out of 5 - "...100 percent pure Bjork and may well be her best work yet..."

CMJ (1/08/01, p.10) - Included in CMJ's "Best of the Year" for 2000.

CMJ (9/18/00, p.3) - "...An absolutely absurd pairing of forms, styles and voices, but one [she] pulls off brilliantly..."

Melody Maker (9/26/00, pp.50-1) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A unique talent doing what comes naturally....she's a genius. This is a mere half-hour of wild story-telling thoughts made musical..."

Mojo (Publisher) (10/00, p.100) - "...Innovative and exuberant..."

NME (Magazine) (9/16/00, p.37) - 8 out of 10 - "...Strange and rewarding..."

Album Notes

Personnel includes: Bjork, Thom Yorke (vocals); Vince Mendoza (arranger).

"Overture" was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and "I've Seen It All" was nominated for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accopanying A Vocalist.

Renowned director Lars Von Trier's stroke of genius in making his 2000 film DANCER IN THE DARK was to cast Iceland-born avant-pop siren Bjork in the central role and then enlist her aid in composing and performing a series of musical numbers for the movie. In the film, Bjork's character Selma lives an unrelentingly hard life as a single mother and factory worker who is quickly going blind. The film's songs come from Selma's inner world, where she (and the audience) find respite from all the harshness of reality.

Bjork's compositions, with orchestral arrangements from Vince Mendoza, hang together on their own quite nicely. Catherine Deneuve (Bjork's co-star) and Radiohead's Thom Yorke make effective vocal cameos, but Bjork's voice and music are the central focus. As we hear the industrial sounds of the factory turn into the rhythm of a song, or follow Bjork's oddly intuitive melodic leaps through a dreamlike haze of strings, it becomes clear that her idiosyncratic writing style adapts quite well to the cinematic milieu. As usual, her uniquely entrancing singing style stands out above almost all else.



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