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This relentless restlessness liberates me, Bj rk declares on "Wanderlust" from her 2007 studio album, Volta, which is also the dramatic concluding track of her new Voltaic live CD. "I feel at home whenever the unknown surrounds me." The album features ar
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The CD "Songs From the Volta Tour" (11 tracks; 47 min.) is not necessarily the live CD that you might expect. This is in fact a recording of the in-studio rehearsal in London that Bjork and her band played shortly before headlining the 2007 Glaxtonbury music festival. So yes, it's live but there is no audience, and it really feels more like a studio album that happens to have been taped in one take. Not that this is a complaint. Ths quality of the songs is fabulous. The setlist is what one can expect: a heavy dose of "Volta" songs, with the occasional old nugget thrown in such as "Army of Me', which will for me always remain Bjork's signature song.
The DVD "The Volta Tour" (21 tracks; 92 min.) first brings the 16 song performance from L'Olympia in Paris, and it is a vusual and musical extravaganza that truly gives you the Bjork concert experience. To start the show, the 10 piece musical brass band comes stepping onto the stage, and then Bjork comes on and starts with a blazing "Earth Intrudres", and off we go. The camera work is excellent, as is the sound, in particular is you have the proper home-theater set up (which I happen to have). Other highlights include "Army of Me" (which brings the entire venue jumping up and down), but also "Hyperballad", "Wanderlust" and the closer "Declare Independence". Also on this DVD is a (too short) 5 song performance taped in some church in Reykjavik in front of a small audience (not more than a few hundred, at most), which brings a mix of Volta and Medulla songs. "Pneumonia" is just Bjorn and the 10 piece brass band, "My Juvenile" and "Vokuro" is Bjork accompanied by harpsicord (and background vocals), "Sonnets/Unrealities XI" is done totally a-cappella, just beautiful. Closer "Mouth's Cradle" is the only track that is supplemented by electronic beats from the Apple laptop. The Reykjavik experience couldn't be more different from the Paris one, but equally satisfying, if not more so.
In all, this "Voltaic" CD/DVD combo is all a Bjork fan could ask for. Beware that this is available in many different configurations, include just the live CD, but also a 2 CD/2 DVD package. I had the good fortune catching Bjork headling at the 2007 Coachella music festival, and basically saw the same show that is the Paris show on this DVD. What an unforgettable experience that was! Meanwhile "Voltaic" is highly recommended!
"Brennið Þið Vitar"
"The Pleasure Is All Mine"
"Vertebræ by Vertebræ"
"Where Is the Line"
"Who Is It"
"Army of Me"
Live in Reykjavík
"Sonnets / Unrealities XI"
Many songs on her album Volta really come alive when they are performed and take on the shape of a whole new animal, so if you were unsure of Volta, it is definitely worth revisiting live versions of the songs on Voltaic.
If you have the extra cash to spare, the 2 CD / 2 DVD version of Voltaic is the way to go, but this is a great middle ground. Definitely do not miss out on the DVD of the live performances, it's truly a visual feast.
Some reviewers complained about the packaging, but I happen to really like it and quite enjoy the photography it consists.
This is a must have for all Björk fans and especially those who are just getting into her discography. Voltaic would be a great place to start, highly recommended.