Review of Bjork's live album and DVD Voltaic
Never one to follow the flock, Bjork has neglected to just put out a live album like most artists and instead she's opted to rerecord 11 tracks live in Olympic studios and please her loyal following of hardcore fans no end. But wait it doesn't end there. The Volta tour is also captured on DVD live from France and comes attached on a second disc, how very, very kind of her.
Songs from the Volta tour (the cds name) is a triumph from the very beginning. The avant-garde Wanderlust kicks proceedings off impressively, oozing its heavy processed beats relentlessly and complimenting Bjorks heartfelt vocal as it goes. It's soon followed by the brassy Cuban sounding Hunter before making way to the organ fuelled intricacy of The pleasure is all mine.
By the time old favourite Army Of Mine arrives, the scene has been set. It sounds as good as ever, perhaps better and sits perfectly next to the work of Volta.
The quality of the playing on this live cd cannot be understated, it really is flawless from start to finish with a polished sound that's well mixed but also owes much to the incredible 14 person band that created it. The epic Earth Intruders is testament to that.
The DVD of the Volta tour comes live from Paris where Bjork has as strong a following as she does anywhere else. Like the cd its opens with a brass section only this time it's for the introduction of the lady herself. We are soon thrown into the arms of the intimidating Earth Intruders as Bjork arrives on stage in face paint and dressed as colourfully as you would expect. With her band dressed identically, it really does make for theatrical stuff.
From there on in, we are treated to a fine set list that understandably borrows heavily from the Volta album. The editing is nice and sharp throughout, especially when we are treated to a panning of the crowd during the delightful Hyperballad, which sees the French crowd shouting the words back at the artist as giant green lasers are seen painting the roof. At this point it's no longer a gig it's a rave!
Voltaic captures the energy and innovation of Bjork perfectly. The live cd features songs that are beautifully played behind closed doors, whereas the DVD shows you what happens when they're finally unleashed onto Bjorks adoring fan base. The effect is electrifying and needs to be seen to be believed.