Volta

  • Record Label: Atlantic
  • Release Date: May 8, 2007
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 221 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 221

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  1. mikes.
    May 8, 2007
    5
    Well if you strip down all the experimental production choices you would have a very boring album. Instead you have a just semi-boring album. If the production was better it would probably be a average to above average album. But the production is weak. Bjork is retreading familiar territory here and she sounds very similar here to vespertine, with the exception that the production now is Well if you strip down all the experimental production choices you would have a very boring album. Instead you have a just semi-boring album. If the production was better it would probably be a average to above average album. But the production is weak. Bjork is retreading familiar territory here and she sounds very similar here to vespertine, with the exception that the production now is not as fresh nor as ground breaking as it was back in 2001. The songwriting isn't as good, the melodies aren't as good, and the production is stale and uninspired. A poor, disappointing release from an artist that had previously been inventive and creative with each release; she has slipped into a groove. An artist that relies on her reputation as a innovative artist, repeating the same formula since 2001 hurts her reputation and will most likely disappoint. Expand
  2. HenryV
    May 15, 2007
    5
    I consider myself a huge Bjork fan. I love all her previous albums and never found any of them particularly hard to get into. So I am sad to report that Volta is a big disappointment. I pretty much agree with many of the detractors: shoddy production, lack of true songwriting, lack of interesting melody, vague concept, and an overall unfinished feeling. For the first time, it feels like I consider myself a huge Bjork fan. I love all her previous albums and never found any of them particularly hard to get into. So I am sad to report that Volta is a big disappointment. I pretty much agree with many of the detractors: shoddy production, lack of true songwriting, lack of interesting melody, vague concept, and an overall unfinished feeling. For the first time, it feels like she just released an album because she was obligated to. There are a few moments with some potential that never fully materialize ("Wanderlust", "Dull Flame of Desire", "I See Who You Are", "Vertebrae by Vertebrae", "Pneumonia"). After about a dozen listens, the only track that fully satisfies, but still ranks in the medium range of Bjork greatness is "Earth Intruders". I hope she sits down and really hashes out some great music for the next album. Volta is so not worthy of her legacy. But maybe she needed to make this album to cleanse her musical palate. I guess every artist is entitled to one lemon. Expand
  3. Oct 11, 2011
    5
    Simply the worst album of Bjork's career, filled with incoherent songs and silly lyrics. Avoid this if you are not a die-hard fan of the Icelandic oddball and don't buy this as her first record.
  4. BB
    May 8, 2007
    5
    What the hell happened? There are 3 great songs - the rest have no pulse. She said this album was going to be more fun. What does she consider fun?
  5. DericM
    Apr 27, 2007
    6
    In Medulla she lost her arrangements. In this album she lost her melodies. It's quite decent, cohesive, and interesting, but it just isn't catchy as her work from Debut up till Vespertine.
  6. anderss
    May 10, 2007
    5
    No tunes - no real fun.
  7. RobH
    May 25, 2007
    6
    I was really dissapointed with this album; the songs just wander without hitting many exciting moments or memorable melodies. I feel like Bjork needs to reenergize and come back with a more inspired album, because it has been a while since she's delivered a stellar album (Homogenic). I was hoping for a return to her more poppy, fun music of the early 90s.
  8. JorgeS
    Jul 19, 2007
    6
    Good album... but a little disappointing because it does not contribute anything new and it is not as original as the previous one.
  9. BjorkfanNo1
    May 13, 2007
    4
    I love the brass arrangements but the stiff beats and missing tunes makes Volta hard to love. The epic ballad Dull flame of desire never really takes of. Another Bjork album to admire but unlikely to be played much...
  10. TimW.
    May 7, 2007
    6
    This is an album only bjork could create; however, for her lofty standards it is a disappointment in vision and execution. There are allusions to all her previous albums, but an attempt at taking the best of those works and putting them in a blender merely offers a schizophrenic record with little melody. Marketed as a dancable, "fun" album, especially with the Timbaland, only the first This is an album only bjork could create; however, for her lofty standards it is a disappointment in vision and execution. There are allusions to all her previous albums, but an attempt at taking the best of those works and putting them in a blender merely offers a schizophrenic record with little melody. Marketed as a dancable, "fun" album, especially with the Timbaland, only the first single "Earth Intruders" lives up to the hype. Don't get me wrong, "Volta" is a good album, but it makes no leap forward for such a progressive artist and requires a few spins for its best moments to take hold. Expand
  11. AC
    May 9, 2007
    5
    Before she records her next album, she should write some songs first. You know, juicy hooks, melodies, choruses, those little things. This one's nothing but a meandering bummer, and I've loved all of her previous work. No one is beyond criticism. I don't care what funky country you're from. Or how good your voice is.
  12. JeffW
    Jun 11, 2007
    4
    I've successfully made it through this album, in entirety, twice. I've tried to make it through this album on at least five other occasions, usually stopping short after around three tracks into it. Prior to this album, I've never had this problem with Bjork's unique and ever-evolving music. It's actually difficult to listen to some of the songs on this album, I've successfully made it through this album, in entirety, twice. I've tried to make it through this album on at least five other occasions, usually stopping short after around three tracks into it. Prior to this album, I've never had this problem with Bjork's unique and ever-evolving music. It's actually difficult to listen to some of the songs on this album, however, even for a long-time Bjork fan like myself. To be precise, this album feels a lot like an unfinished re-release of some of her older works: "Hope", for instance, is "Cocoon"-esque; "Wanderlust", for instance, is "All Neon Like"-esque. With that said, they are both fairly good tracks, although neither of them feel new. The same stands for a few other tracks on the album. The other 50% of the album is more or less a waste of time, especially the tracks which feature one of the most disgusting/creepy vocalists I've ever heard, "Antony Hegarty". He does Bjork's lead vocals no justice. If you're *really* curious about this album, just buy it used, because I'm sure many of them will be returning to the shelves soon enough. Expand
  13. kellyw.
    Jun 7, 2007
    5
    I wish she would have gone further out to sea with this one and not have felt compeled to make a comeback. The result is messy, divided and overly objective, heady. The direct nods to the Drawing Restraint #9 soundtrack makes Volta feels like she subconsciously wanted to further her more abstact and introverted side while feeling obligated to make the next Bjork album.
  14. JamesM
    Jun 8, 2007
    6
    Agree with the Pitchfork review. Volta has some curious moments but a lot of it is without melody and tried to rely on sparse electronica to dig it out of the hole. Disappointing compared to Debut, Post, Homogenic and Vespertine which provide done with a lot more indeed.
  15. AaronR
    Aug 12, 2007
    4
    Bjork seems to have been aiming at musical abstract art with this album(as with Medulla) instead of real musical art, as her previous albums were. Most of the songs on this album sound make you feel like you're in an art gallary, watching a bunch of wealthy socialites admire a canvas with random pocka dots all over the place. I must say, I don't get it, and I question the Bjork seems to have been aiming at musical abstract art with this album(as with Medulla) instead of real musical art, as her previous albums were. Most of the songs on this album sound make you feel like you're in an art gallary, watching a bunch of wealthy socialites admire a canvas with random pocka dots all over the place. I must say, I don't get it, and I question the sincerity of those who think the album is awesome. Expand
  16. [Anonymous]
    May 19, 2007
    4
    I agree completely with Yuka. Only tracks 1-3 are worth listening to; the rest of it is damn near horrible and I'm a huge Bjork fan. Lyrics, inspiration, all of it's out the window. Even "Medulla" had redeeming qualities, but I can't believe what happened here.. Maybe she'll never return to her 90's glory.
  17. Feb 20, 2012
    5
    The opening tracks re-establish Bjork as the strange pop icon we all grew to love, but something terrible happens in the second half, with mute arrangements, and a lack of vocal diversity, her experimentation's infiltrate this pop album leaving the fans feeling a little betrayed and bewildered by it all. 'Earth Intruders' is still great though.
  18. Sep 24, 2015
    6
    Bjork's voice is the only sure standout of Volta. Otherwise it feels too produced to believe it came after Medulla. Granted, it's the best album Timbaland has ever produced.
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Volta is arguably Bjork's loosest and most ruminative record, and though it touches on everything she's ever done, it's not as gripping or coherent as her best stuff.
  2. Listen intently, repeatedly, and you'll hear much to widen your consciousness... But listen for, you know, enjoyment and you'll be left wanting.
  3. Every song on Volta sounds like it was birthed in no fewer than 10 months, if not five years. "Fun" hardly has an opportunity to enter the picture when Björk's now seemingly permanent fastidiousness remains her métier.