Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Bjork has crafted an album that is both intimate and theatrical, innovative, but tied to tradition. Though Selmasongs paints a portrait of a woman losing her sight, it maintains Bjork's unique vision perfectly.
  2. An excellent release, albeit a bit short.
  3. Alternative Press
    100
    The music on Selmasongs brings Bjork's penchant for haunting melodies, cinematic imagery and ambient percussion fully to bear.... Though composed for a film, the music is 100-percent Bjork and may well be her best work yet. [12/2000, p.91]
  4. In signature Björk fashion, the songs are emotionally intense, beautifully orchestrated, sensually sweet, and wickedly exotic.
  5. A refreshingly old-fashioned orchestral score intercut with rather less appealing jaunts through an atonal avant-garde.
  6. Something here brings out the most precious and irritating aspects of Björk's elfin voice.
  7. Bjork-obsessed fans hungry for more of the songwriter's customary eccentricities might be disappointed with the brief and thematic focus of the album.
  8. 90
    Björk's airy and exalted vocals are wonderfully familiar. She may be singing as Selma, but Björk herself isn't too far beneath the surface.
  9. She may not have written the words, but Björk's emotional investment in songs like 'I've Seen It All' (really sad) and 'Scatterheart' (really really sad) is undeniable; making this album - 'in character' as poor, doomed Selma - totally seductive as A Björk Record.
  10. The album has its charms -- Björk's voice soars on "Scatter Heart," and her duet with Radiohead's Thom Yorke has a mambo-style sexiness -- but its overdone orchestrations and outsize emotions lack the resonance of Carousel and its metaphysical overtones or even the easygoing peacetime fizz of On the Town. [Sep 25, 2000]
  11. Selmasongs breaks no new ground whatsoever for the Icelandic composer, instead dwelling in more comfortable regions already mapped by Homogenic.... the record definitely has its great moments. The problem is, there are only two of them.
  12. Q Magazine
    60
    There's still enough synapse-jangling vocal invention and moments of great beauty to make it a worthy addition ot Bjork's singular ouevre. [Nov. 2000, p.99]
  13. An appropriate marriage of industrial clanging and symphonic melodrama... this album, although short, represents a particularly accessible career highlight for Bjork.
  14. Select
    80
    It's the violently romantic finale 'New World,' though, that should see doubts finally stifled. Rivalling Massive Attack's 'Teardrop' in its breathtaking loveliness, it's among the best things she's done. (Oct. 2000, p.102)
  15. One of the most exciting pop-music experiments to along in a long while.... Selmasongs works as an album, not just as a souvenir of a daring cinematic and musical venture.
  16. Spin
    80
    Selmasongs becomes a deeper listen after you've seen Dancer In The Dark.... But even without its proper context, the album is evidence of Bjork's unstoppable growth. [Nov. 2000, p.197]
  17. The most notable feature of Selmasongs is how much it sounds like her most recent musical adventures, regardless of the album's intended cinematiccontext.
  18. The Wire
    90
    For Bjork, this release marks a development in her craft.... SelmaSongs is a little big brave collection of songs that makes me feel better whenever I listen to it. [#201, p.58]
  19. Too much dark and not enough dancer--textured passages that might sound great with luscious visuals, but are mere din from a cheap CD boom box.
  20. Without the context of the film, the songs don't stand particularly well on their own for the purposes of casual listening.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 77
  2. Negative: 3 out of 77
  1. Sep 22, 2010
    10
    The movie made me cry so much at the end and the lyrics and songs on the album are exceptional..."New World" is deffinitely a song i canThe movie made me cry so much at the end and the lyrics and songs on the album are exceptional..."New World" is deffinitely a song i can relate to and love listening to Bjork's music...She's so original and like Lady GaGa, Has her own style and voice that no one else can touch Full Review »
  2. AndrewF
    Aug 2, 2006
    10
    This is by far my favourite Bjork album, and one of my fave albums of all time. It works much better once you've seen the film, and you This is by far my favourite Bjork album, and one of my fave albums of all time. It works much better once you've seen the film, and you associate the heart-wrenching tale with the lovely music. Some of the most depressing music ever made to go with a nihilistic film, but it's a bold and daring artistic statement. Full Review »
  3. Jul 24, 2017
    7
    Selmasongs contains rework songs from the Lars Von Trier movie Dancer In The Dark. And some of the CD versions are weaker than the movieSelmasongs contains rework songs from the Lars Von Trier movie Dancer In The Dark. And some of the CD versions are weaker than the movie versions. For example I can't explain this version of Scatterheart, the movie version was way more touching. But it's still a great piece. Overature is a masterpiece and 107 Steps, one of the most creative song in Björk's discography. Full Review »