New home

…Jeez!

So, there I was on the Blog Rig service from approximately the beginning of this year thinking “I’m glad I moved here! Blogger was nice but after 4yrs I just can’t post now.”

And now, about 6 months in Blog Rig just failed. Completely. For weeks the site hasn’t re-appeared. Am I jinxed? I sure as hell ain’t returning to etribes. I signed up and the ‘look’ was enough to stop there.

In fairness I don’t think I’m a blogger with a consistent or avid readership but still it’s annoying to have drowned and then re-emerged on another boat. I hope WP keep me aboard. Somehow, I think they will..

Oh well, time to populate the room again. I’m using my domain (mo79online.co.uk) to redirect to this site too. I’m looking forward to unleashing my keyboard diarrhoea again – new readers and old. Mostly new I’m sure.

I’ll finish with a review of Bjork’s Volta album that Pixelsurgeon ditched for a better effort by another…

Ah, bless Bjork! You can always count on her for coming ’round to dose us with equal measures of quirk and pure pop simplicity and here she has again, all packaged up in one of the coolest sleeves of the year.

Aside from the historically preserved Kate Bush, the number of popular female artists challenging the stereotypical chart female can be counted on a digit. When Bjork broke The Sugarcubes cordon tape to emerge in the early 90’s, people had a strong lasting impression of her; positive or not. Not since has a woman emerged to really really make Paris Hilton stupid and dazzle or irritate, although it can also be argued the industry doesn’t want the floodgates burst open for The Raggy Dolls.

Unfortunately time gathers dust on even the brightest gems and so the release of compilations and a soundtrack album either side of 04’s Medulla could roughly been seen as the winding up of a career, or at least the closure of the first decade chapter. And how many second decade chapters open with much interest and sustain it? Who cared for Black Sabbath after Dio? Please don’t count sycophants.

Fortunately Volta shows us that Bjork hasn’t artistically aged. This is still Bjork as you know her – perhaps as visibly bright as on inception – but colourfully armoured up to retain that freshness by recruiting the golden touch likes of Timbaland, Mark Bell and the ear caressing Antony Hergarty of Anthony And The Johnsons who contrasts beautifully with Bjork on The Dull Flame of Desire and My Juvenile.

First single the Timbaland produced Earth Intruders opens with watery sounds that bring you into the organic and bouncy soft underwater world of the album; perhaps a marble Jan Pienkowski art. After four and half minutes you’re fully immersed in various sea sounds ranging from seagulls, an engine and a cute assortment of ship horns for at least two minutes. The following Wanderlust sounds like it could fit right at home on 95’s Post album and then you think whatever happened to Tricky and Massive Attack? Why haven’t we got Labour in power?…

The other Timbaland track Innocence showcases more of Timbaland with it’s cough based snare and though good, does sound like a track that will date due to his immense presence in the industry as of now and in having more shining production work. Following this Vertebrae By Vertebrae struggles to keep engagement. In general Mark Bell’s gentle production work compliments Bjork extremely well but when he tries the gritty it seems a bit dull. Listeners of Depeche Mode’s Exciter will know exactly what I mean.

After the middle lull – not really a lull, more so a section that caters for a sombre state of mind – things brighten up with the intricate Eastern European/Asian guitar decoration of Hope.

However, the album’s top song is second single Declare Independence, a track characterized by deranged synths, stomping drum machines and a beckon to “…Start your own currency, make your own stamp. Protect your language. Declare independence, don’t let them do that to you! Make your own flag…Raise your flag!” as a metaphor to being strong and individual.

There’s nothing here that will convert someone allergic to Bjork but for most of the devoted this is a fine experiment that harks back to her stronger chart days and can easily awe a new generation of fans. Not her most strongest album but not far off.

Score: 9/10

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