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Selmasongs: Dancer In The Dark (2000 Film) Soundtrack

163 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, September 19, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bjork ~ Selmasongs: Dancer In The Dark

In Dancer in the Dark, Björk plays Selma, a Czech mother who labors furiously in order to save her son from an inherited disease that will cause blindness. In the midst of all her hardship, the one thing that keeps her spirits up is musicals. Here lies the premise of the Selmasongs EP. The seven tracks sound like something straight out of a Gene Kelly movie but with one major addendum: Björk's wildly imaginative, postmodern songwriting. The movie's theme of fantasy coexisting with urban industrial bleakness is represented in two recurring elements: mechanical friction (expressed rhythmically in the sounds of train tracks, car engines, chains, and even chalk) and dreamy escapism (manifested in enormous orchestral swells of strings, harp, and other fanciful instrumentation). "Cvalda" is typical of the EP's duality. Industrial noise bleeds into Björk's scatting "Clatter! Crash! Clack! Rattle!" then dives head first into a wonderful tap-dancing-on-a tin-roof, big-band cacophony. The EP's showstopper, the rousing "In the Musicals 1 & 2," sounds like it was conducted with a magic wand. Beginning with Aphex Twin-inspired beats bouncing like a ball bearing dribbled hard on pavement, the intricate rhythmic choreography tromps, flits, and changes direction with seamless angularity. These aren't just songs to dance to, these are songs that dance. --Beth Massa
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: September 19, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Elektra
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004Y6TQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,472 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Redo on October 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
First off, if you haven't seen the movie yet don't get this cd. The soundtrack has to be listened and understood within the context of "Dancer in the Dark". It's possible for the cd to stand on its own, but it gains in emotional power if you know what happens in the movie.
With that being said I was highly disappointed that it wasn't fully faithful to the movie version of the songs. While I enjoyed hearing Catherine Denueve on 'Cvalde' I would rather have had Peter Stormare's vocals for 'I've Seen It All' and the original version of 'Scatterheart' You'll find some lyric switching between Yorke and Bjork in 'I've Seen It All' and the lyrics for 'Scatterheart' barely resemble that which was sung in the movie.
The greatest tragedy of all with this cd is the omission of 'The Next to Last Song'. A powerful moment in the movie is completely lost on this cd, rendering '107 Steps' and 'A New World' not as powerful as they were in the theater. Don't get me wrong though, you'll still find yourself moved by these tracks, but the moment is not complete without 'The Next to Last Song'.
I can only hope that somewhere down the line a more complete soundtrack will be released or the DVD will offer a music only track. While this is a terrific soundtrack and one that any movie music lover should own, it's not complete.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J Ippolito Jr on September 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Bjork is poised to become a multi-media superstar. Her latest album, "Selmasongs" doubles as a collection of songs from her first movie, Dancer in the Dark. She has won critical acclaim for her work in the film as a mother who works in a factory and labors to save her son from a disease that will cause him to go blind. The premise of the seven songs on this EP deals with her character's ability to keep her spirits up by fantasizing about musicals. The songs sound like something out of a postmodern Rodgers and Hammerstein with Bjork's careening vocals lending weight to compositions that fuse industrial clatter and dream-like, sweeping string arrangements. Whats more significant is that these songs feel as if they come from a created persona that Bjork fully embodies in both the film and throughout the soundtrack. She never breaks from character and the songs soar because of the emotion she has invested in each track. Bjork's co-star Catherine Deneuve makes a vocal cameo for the track "Cvalda". Thom Yorke's duet with Bjork, the moody "I've Seen it All" is a warm moment where he the question is posed, "What about China? Have you seen the Great Wall?" Yorke responds, "All walls are great if the roof doesnt fall." This statement unknowingly parallels the plight of Bjork's charachter, Selma who seems cute and carefree in the film's outset only later to be seen as dilusional and the victim of the wall she has constructed against her own crushing reality. Her imagination/wall cannot save her from the life she must face. As the album continues, it reaches its emotional zenith with the glorious, "In the Musicals 1&2".Read more ›
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Scott Ingwersen on April 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This review is for people who loved Bjork in Dancer in the Dark, know very little about her musical talent, and want to know if this is the album they should buy. If you liked the music in the movie; beware that these SelmaSongs are not taken directly from the movie. Bjork sings almost all the parts (no Joel Grey, for example) and several lyrics are altered (to not give away plot points in the movie, I guess), and some songs are extended. Anyway, it's a *great* CD for people who already love Bjork's music (even though it is a short set of songs), but only a *good* CD for people who are just intrigued by Bjork and liked the music/her singing in the movie. SO, my recommendation to those of you who are not yet hardcore Bjork fans (and you want to get your money's worth while introducing your ears to Bjork's personal style) is to buy any one of these three Bjork albums: "Debut", "Post", or "Homogenic". Debut was her first solo album, and while it is still great after all these years, it is slightly dated. Pick this one if you prefer the melodies on top of flat-beats type of dance music. My general recommendation however, is "Post". It showcases Bjork's wide range of styles, contains what many people consider to be her most beautiful song ("Hyperballad") and has more driving beats that keep you tapping your fingers after the song is over. For the more adventurous, you might choose the light-industrial/electronica-packed "Homogenic". Bjork's emotions on this album are the closest to what you might expect if you have only seen Dancer in the Dark. This is her 'edgiest' album though, with a spot or two that is difficult to take...Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Marc Cabir Davis on March 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Bjork considers this album to be her best work ever. I agree. As a person who has tirelessly followed her career since her Sugarcubes days, I am stunned at how Björk has managed to lift her music another notch and become truly other-wordly. Its albums like this that make me wonder why I ever thought Tori Amos was a demi Goddess, or that Fiona Apple was as good as they come. 'Selmasongs' is a revelation, and also a showstopper - I doubt anything on Björk's new album 'Vespertine' could rival the musical genius of this CD.
That said, this is meant to be a review of the CD and not a critical analysis of the artist's musical growth, so lets move on. I must emphasize that this album is best appreciated only if you've actually seen the movie. If you haven't, don't go here. And while its true that Selmasongs is NOT a soundtrack in the real sense of the term (all the songs are studio-sung and barely resemble the songs on the screen), it is also not an EP or a regular album. Once again, our Icelandic diva has managed to triumph over genre and typecasting to create something so new and revolutionary, that it takes your breath away.
1. Overture : The theme to the film is also the tune to 'New World' and 'The Next to last Song'. It opens the movie, in a long drawn sequence that is meant to evoke the sentiment that life is one big open canvas.
2. Cvalda : The equivalent to 'Its Oh so Quiet' but more musically creative. 'Zing boom' becomes 'Clatter Crash', and when Catherine Deneuve steps in to give Bjork a hand with the vocals, you know that this is an instant masterpiece. Using electronica, machinery, and industrial harmonies, Bjork has managed to do what Tricky and Goldie could not - to create the ultimate example of factory-blend alterna.
Read more ›
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