Record label: Elektra
Release date: 18 September 2001
It's been a banner year for Björk, all thanks due to a riveting performance in her first (and possibly last) film. After the less-than-positive reaction that her last album Homogenic received, Selmasongs brings us back to a project with equal weight on all sides. Seeing as how these songs were made for the movie, purpose is added to her passion. While Björk remains the center of attention, credit must go to Vincent Mendoza, whose orchestrations are wonderful. The "Overture" sets the mood for the remainder of the disc, and while it's not like we haven't heard Björk in this setting before, it stays closer to the melancholy strings of "Bachelorette" than the big band, larger-than-life horns of "It's Oh So Quiet." Although, "Cvalda" comes close - punchy and edgy, with the orchestra at full force over assembly line electronics. Co-star Catherine Deneuve lends her vocals to that one, and a beautiful duet between Björk and Radiohead's Thom Yorke is featured on "I've Seen It All." Their voices dance uneasily around each other, creating emotional depth within the song. "Scatterheart" sounds like it could've been a B-side for one of the last album's singles while "107 Steps" builds tension with the sound of someone counting the steps as they climb while Björk throws out random numbers. Very reminiscent of scores for suspense or spy thrillers. Don't worry if you haven't seen Dancer In The Dark yet; that won't hinder your listening experience. This mini-album lasts maybe 30 minutes, and during that time Björk reaffirms your faith in her songwriting. it's some of the most ambitious work she's ever done, and it leaves you happily awaiting her new full-length (due in 2001, kids, so get ready...).
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