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Björk - Selmasongs [Aka: Dancer in the Dark] (OST) CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.22 | 71 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars I'm not a Björk fan. I did listen to her a bit in my late teens/early 20s in the mid/late 90s when "all" the "cool" "kids" did, but lost interest quite soon. My wife, however, is a fan and has many of her CDs so I thought I might reacquaint myself with them.

This is a soundtrack to the film Dancer in the Dark, directed by Lars Von Trier and starring Björk as the main character Selma (hence the album title). Songs are tied to film scenes but also work independently although you'll get more out of them if you've seen the whole thing. If you haven't, be forewarned that Von Trier knows which strings to pull to really exploit the viewer's emotions with his display of human wretchedness.

On to the music. Opening track "Overture" plays along with the opening credits and is more or less generic string music piece they use in movies. The first proper song "Cvalda" (named after the character played by Catherine Deneuve who also sings part of the song) starts with industrial rhythm and Björk's original vocals, then turns into a very typical Björk song with electronic trip hop rhythm and strings, and is in my opinion very musical-ish. "I've Seen It All" is my favourite Björk song. A melancholic near-ballad with Thom Yorke (of Radiohead) singing male vocal parts. I wonder why the actor Peter Stormare didn't sing them like ms. Deneuve did? I absolutely love the call-and-response lines "what about China, have you seen the Great Wall? - all walls are great if the roof doesn't fall". "Scatterheart" begins with musical box type melody. It might be the celesta that's Björk credited playing on the album? Dark song, nice sparse bassline and well-utilized scratchy vinyl sounds. "In the Musicals" is more uptempo but not very memorable I think. Nice use of tap-dancing type percussion sounds though. "107 Steps" has the voice of actress Siobhan Fallon counting the steps from prison cell to the gallows. Rhythm and strings and Björk's vocals are added on top of it. Very dramatic. "New World" is the closing credits song. It starts rather minimal trip hop and grows again dramatically towards the end.

I kind of like the album. It doesn't feature Björk's most irritating singing mannerism that were the main reason I didn't much like her in the first place. I like how she uses concrete sounds (factory rhythm of "Cvalda", counting in "107 Steps") with musical ones and how she utilizes modern beats and strings. After this, I didn't become a fan and probably never will, but I'll try and listen to more Björk when the time is right. Three stars.

Hiram | 3/5 |


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