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Selmasongs: Dancer In The Dark 2000 Film
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Selmasongs: Music From The Motion Picture "Dancer In The Dark"`
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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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The music on this album however is a joy! From the beginning which starts with an instrumental, "Overture", which is a wonderful combination of stringed instruments, wood winds, and a little brass. There really is not one bad song on this album (the rest all have vocals by the way). Only 2 positive points I'd like to make:
- Bjork fuses her own unique style with strings and horns to create this broadway musical feel in the majority of the songs without ever losing the essence of Bjork's signature style.
- The duet with Thom Yorke on "I've Seen It All" is legendary and amazing in that these 2 talented people got the chance to create a beautiful ballad.
Any fan of Bjork will like this, it doesn't matter if you're into her earlier or later stuff.
However, I am a music lover, and these songs simply tickle my ears and mind. This album is a wonderful blend of orchestral instruments and electronica. It will make you appreciate everyday sounds and want to find the natural rhythm that is present in every day life. I'm a bit too emotionally biased to give a good review...all I can think is...I love it.
"I've Seen It All" is beautiful, in its own quiet way. This song is important, in that it embodies the duality of the film, with its many contrasts in characters and especially camera-work, which changes whenever one of the "musical" numbers starts.
All in all, Bjork used "Selmasongs" as an album and a project to further her avant-garde intentions while not getting wholly lost in them. Each track captures some of her original verve, which only continues to strengthen with such new projects as "Drawing Restraint 9."