Volta

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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 217 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 217

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  1. Jun 24, 2011
    10
    Fantastic, massive, true, limitless, full of hope, full of energy... Volta has a beauty in not a normal way, it lives not in you ,but, through you, all around you... It`s eternal like energy itself.
  2. ChrisK
    Oct 2, 2007
    10
    Bjork is my favorite singer of all time. The only problem with her is that she is soo ahead of her time it is ridiculous and that is why alot of people(including myself when i first heard her) don't get her music.... but after seeing her live performing volta i was blown away..... if you want to hear volta at its best download the mp3 of her at coachella 2007.
  3. ChrisG
    May 9, 2007
    8
    Profoundly experimental, sketchy, brilliant (at points), head-scratching and quasi-fun. Some tracks really shine like Pneumonia and Innocence, while others flounder and become restless beasts (The Dull Flame of Desire / Declare Independence). But a good B album is better than many. She's still a unique force in the music scene and shows no signs of musical fatigue.
  4. k.
    May 10, 2007
    9
    I think the only Ms. step Bjork made on this album was proclaiming it 'pop' and setting up false expectations. 'Volta' is one step away from 'Drawing Restrant #9' and three steps away from 'Vespertine'. Gorgeous, challenging and strange.
  5. rheom
    May 9, 2007
    10
    theres nuthin really much to argue about bjorks album; watever bjork does in her carrer I will still support her;shes a legend and I luv her!
  6. OlegV.
    Feb 2, 2009
    10
    Dull Flame Of Desire is an incredibly amazing and touching tune - my favourite in last 5 years. It brings me to tears every time I listen to it (ok, now - not but first 20 listens it did :). I See Who Your Are is another tune here which brings to tears. Declare Independence is an amazing electroindustrial energetic, but Pheumonia is one of her most beautiful "quiet" songs. The whole album Dull Flame Of Desire is an incredibly amazing and touching tune - my favourite in last 5 years. It brings me to tears every time I listen to it (ok, now - not but first 20 listens it did :). I See Who Your Are is another tune here which brings to tears. Declare Independence is an amazing electroindustrial energetic, but Pheumonia is one of her most beautiful "quiet" songs. The whole album is as good as her other work, here are only two songs which did not work for me: Wanderlust and My Juvenile. Interesting a lot of fans claim Wandelust as on the the best :) And I think Innocence is too poppy and has too much of Timbaland but it's fine. Earth Intruders shows a perfect balance betweet Timbaland's and Bjork's producing. Collapse
  7. HarryK
    May 3, 2007
    10
    One of the best albums in many years. I was amazed with some of the songs, 'Declare Independence' being the greatest. This is a keeper!
  8. BM
    May 8, 2007
    10
    I seem to find the joy out of this records that the critics don't. The moments of beauty in this record "The Dull Flame Of Desire" & "Vertebrae by Vertebrae" matched with the ferocity and driven songs as "Innocence" & "Declare Independence" suggest a fond welcome back to the Bjork we all knew from Debut - Homogenic. Impressive record from one of the most important forces in Music today.
  9. triumphofaheart
    May 8, 2007
    9
    fantastic
  10. JeromeF
    May 9, 2007
    9
    Volta is a fantastic effort. It covers so much ground (emotionally and musically) so it can seem scattered. And it kind of is, which is one of it's few downfalls. It is so nice to hear something exuberant (aside from the calm ones of course) after the beautiful sweeping Vespertine and experimental vocal Medulla. Volta kicks off with a jungle-inspired, fun track, called "Earth Volta is a fantastic effort. It covers so much ground (emotionally and musically) so it can seem scattered. And it kind of is, which is one of it's few downfalls. It is so nice to hear something exuberant (aside from the calm ones of course) after the beautiful sweeping Vespertine and experimental vocal Medulla. Volta kicks off with a jungle-inspired, fun track, called "Earth Intruders." This is one of the better songs on the album, and I was dancing around when I heard it, but then the 1 minute+ brass outro, while pretty, completely through me off. And so begins the 8-track downfall. the tracks are all fine, but I dislike how they are all strung together by little nature sounds. It's kind of sweet at first, then you realize "wait... if I want to just listen to one song, I'll get this annoying, unmatching outro." And if theyre not strung together in a way, they end PRECISELY when the next one starts. This works well once ("Dull Fame" to "Innocence") but overall this stringing bothers me. "Wanderlust" and "Innocence" are two of my favorites, and the former may rank among her best songs ever. "Dull Flame of Desire" is beautiful, but I will only listen to it's 7.5-minute structure sometimes when I listen to the album as a whole. From "I See Who You Are" and "Pneumonia," Volta takes a bit of a slowdown, losing some melodic power. These songs are very beautifully crafted though, which makes up for it's bridging. The song I dislike highly is "Hope." It has a terribly trying-too-hard-to-be-political scheme about it ("What's the lesser of two evils, if a suicide bomber made to look pregnant, hits her target or not?") I think it's the worst line on the album. But, then we're saved, by one of the best tracks I've ever heard, "Declare Independence." An industrial-sounding, powerful shouting song where it's repetition works in it's favor. The album closes with the "okay" song "My Juvenile." It's nice, but I don't love it as much as the others. Overall, Volta is not her best album, by FAR. But it's a nice sign that Bjork is not settling down any time soon, and she'll be back with something different (as always) in a few years. Expand
  11. juanm
    May 9, 2007
    10
    give it a couple of tries... and then you'll have no scape to its charm
  12. BrSm
    May 9, 2007
    9
    It seems like a lot of critics and fans thought that the Timbaland collabarations meant this was going to sound like Nelly Furtado. Did you really think Bjork would stoop to that level? I can't imagine anyone who's been listening since Homogenic would be shocked or disapointed by this album.
  13. BL
    Jun 2, 2007
    10
    Very human and magnificent.
  14. M.T.
    Apr 29, 2007
    9
    its a mix of her last 3 studio albums. 'Declare Independence' is a political version of "Pluto". "I See Who You Are" is very intimate and touching. All of the Timbaland/Danja/Bjork collabs are on point! Bjork always surprises and scares.
  15. DiegoR
    May 11, 2007
    10
    Masterpiece
  16. MungoB
    May 11, 2007
    10
    Keep listening and you will see. I'm really digging it but wasn't so sure at first.
  17. MarcD
    May 13, 2007
    9
    Bjork comes back swinging!
  18. QimmahN
    Jul 17, 2007
    10
    I am a big fan of Volta. But like all of her last 3 albums -it had to grow on me as I grew in my ability to appreciate such a unique musical mind. I truly see her music as an inspirational, heart melting brilliance. She is consistently genius and if you can see that, you just don
  19. Jul 30, 2012
    7
    Her sixth album, I felt, it was a recap of all the work she had done until. It brings up the vicious beats from 'Debut' and 'Post', the high level songwriting of 'Homogenic' and the passionate voice tone from both 'Vespertine' and 'Medúlla'. That said, she sounded a bit tired along the songs, as if she knew it was just a big remix of all her other albums. But even Bjork in herHer sixth album, I felt, it was a recap of all the work she had done until. It brings up the vicious beats from 'Debut' and 'Post', the high level songwriting of 'Homogenic' and the passionate voice tone from both 'Vespertine' and 'Medúlla'. That said, she sounded a bit tired along the songs, as if she knew it was just a big remix of all her other albums. But even Bjork in her lowest levels can stand out making an album better than other artists. Expand
  20. TPJ
    May 17, 2007
    8
    The more you listen, the more you'll love. Certainly better than the rather average Medulla but nowhere near as good as her earlier stuff, then again not much is.
  21. JuliaA
    May 20, 2007
    8
    I found this album can be felt more deeper when I heard it by my discman. And I think each songs in Volta are paired up, a sort of short story: Earth Intruders (crazy beats) & Declare Independence (my favorite, it's so fierce) The Dull Flame Of Desire-I See Who You Are (so lovely)-My Juvenile Wanderlust & Innocence Vertebrae By Vertebrae-Pneumonia-Hope A little scattered in themes, I found this album can be felt more deeper when I heard it by my discman. And I think each songs in Volta are paired up, a sort of short story: Earth Intruders (crazy beats) & Declare Independence (my favorite, it's so fierce) The Dull Flame Of Desire-I See Who You Are (so lovely)-My Juvenile Wanderlust & Innocence Vertebrae By Vertebrae-Pneumonia-Hope A little scattered in themes, but Volta's just gorgeous. Expand
  22. JustinT
    May 4, 2007
    8
    People, especially reviewers are morons. This isn't Bjork returning to her "Debut" or "Post" days as some have said. Nor is it a "pop" album as many have been led to believe. I think people were expecting something much more superficial, "catchy" and commercial. But it isn't any of those things. We are talking about Bjork. Just like all her previous albums it's daring, People, especially reviewers are morons. This isn't Bjork returning to her "Debut" or "Post" days as some have said. Nor is it a "pop" album as many have been led to believe. I think people were expecting something much more superficial, "catchy" and commercial. But it isn't any of those things. We are talking about Bjork. Just like all her previous albums it's daring, emotional, inventive and brilliantly odd. Standout tracks:Earth Intruders, Wanderlust, Declare Independence, Innocence and Dull Flame of Desire. Please don't buy this album unless your an estatic Bjork fan, because it is NOT FOR YOU otherwise. Expand
  23. LeoF
    May 8, 2007
    9
    Bjork's albums were never easy and this one is probably her most difficult yet. Definitely, not for everyone.
  24. WesS
    May 12, 2007
    7
    Not her best by a long shot. In fact this may be her weakest album ever besides Drawing Restraint which is not even really a true Bjork vocal album, but more instrumental in nature. I love Bjork, but this album disappoints.
  25. AlanS
    May 4, 2007
    8
    I love Bjork and expected, based on early reports, for this CD to be slightly less experimental and more groovy. Now I am in it for the ride no matter what she does but I would have preferred more to dance to. That said, Dull Flame of Desire, Wanderlust and Declare Independence are some of her best ideas ever. There is a certain lack of polish to the CD that is sometimes refreshing and I love Bjork and expected, based on early reports, for this CD to be slightly less experimental and more groovy. Now I am in it for the ride no matter what she does but I would have preferred more to dance to. That said, Dull Flame of Desire, Wanderlust and Declare Independence are some of her best ideas ever. There is a certain lack of polish to the CD that is sometimes refreshing and sometimes a bit disappointing. Expand
  26. iieee
    May 7, 2007
    7
    on paper this album does read very well, i expected high energy and it's not here!? parts of it remind me why i fell in love with her years ago but other bits bring me back to why she gives me a headache!? i'm pretty mixed about this one. hardcore fans with LOVE it others might eject it the moment of entry!? anyway Bjork...love ya! but it's all starting to feel a bit old!? on paper this album does read very well, i expected high energy and it's not here!? parts of it remind me why i fell in love with her years ago but other bits bring me back to why she gives me a headache!? i'm pretty mixed about this one. hardcore fans with LOVE it others might eject it the moment of entry!? anyway Bjork...love ya! but it's all starting to feel a bit old!? and that's sad. Expand
  27. frankm
    May 7, 2007
    8
    why does metacritic use reviews from a terrible magazine like NOW?
  28. tomd
    May 9, 2007
    8
    i dearly love bjork and think she is one of the most creative arrtists in music today, BUT her need to constantly try new things and outdo her own past work leads to an album that is unfocused and perhaps TOO eclectic. plus i hate stupid duets. everyone's doing them, mostly in an attempt to bolster their fading careers. bjork doesn't need them. i pfrefer the simpler, stripped i dearly love bjork and think she is one of the most creative arrtists in music today, BUT her need to constantly try new things and outdo her own past work leads to an album that is unfocused and perhaps TOO eclectic. plus i hate stupid duets. everyone's doing them, mostly in an attempt to bolster their fading careers. bjork doesn't need them. i pfrefer the simpler, stripped down electronic/experimental sound of her previous music, partly because her great voice is not buried in the production. however, all great artists are driven to experiment, and even if the experiments don't always work (neil young's "trans" for example) it is still better than the "play-it-safe" approach of mainstream music. i would ususually give her a "10" but i'm only rating it 8. perhaps upon more listening, it will grow on me. one thing that can be said about bjork is that she is never boring and always into something new, the mark of a true creative genius. Expand
  29. Max
    May 9, 2007
    8
    Not her best creation but always super! Her sound is different from everything else and her voice is always magical ! Is this enough?
  30. CMUTZ
    Jun 8, 2007
    7
    a little deception !
  31. vinzX
    May 12, 2007
    7
    an ok album, better than medulla, not as good as vespertine....
  32. ixata
    May 18, 2007
    10
    true bjork's fans will never give this album less than 8- or even 9! this is bjork, not avril, britney, hilary, or any other pop artist!!! definitely a great album, but never quite surpasses medulla n vespertine, for this one's kinda messy, but still mesmerizes with tracks like earth inruders, vertebrae by vertebrae and declare independence. note 2 critics: listen 2 an album 3-5 true bjork's fans will never give this album less than 8- or even 9! this is bjork, not avril, britney, hilary, or any other pop artist!!! definitely a great album, but never quite surpasses medulla n vespertine, for this one's kinda messy, but still mesmerizes with tracks like earth inruders, vertebrae by vertebrae and declare independence. note 2 critics: listen 2 an album 3-5 times with a good audio system, then give reviews :) Expand
  33. CorneV
    May 19, 2007
    10
    The first time I heard Volta I thought it was just okay. But after several listenings I think it's brilliant. Every tune grows on me. Even the slower songs are amazing (although they were the ones I thought of as just okay in the beginning) Not her best album (I can't decide which one that is...) but certainly a classic!
  34. RoccoR
    May 23, 2007
    9
    One thing that I hate than anyhting are morons spewing their non-sensical opininons about "Volta". Bjork sings urgently and beautifully on all ten tracks. You have to know Bjork and have a speck of intelligence to understand the music. The more you listen to Volta the more you understand and enjoy it.
  35. MikeS
    May 24, 2007
    10
    With Bjork sounding this triumphant, the majesty of her talent here in full force, there
  36. WillT
    May 3, 2007
    10
    Not as good as Medulla, but equally thrilling and wonderous.
  37. andym
    May 7, 2007
    8
    half of the songs are reminiscent of The Sugarcubes, and the rest are similar to many songs from Dancer In the Dark/Selmasongs (especially the brass sections). All in all, though, it's a nice effort. Not nearly as intimate as Vespertine; not as grand as homogenic and not as edgy as medulla. It seems more of a post-modern blend of Post and Debut
  38. CameronS
    May 7, 2007
    10
    Bjork rocks! Earth Intruders is the best single of the year. Buy this instead of your run of the mill pre-teen pop garbage that keeps being released.
  39. RyanJ.
    Jun 18, 2007
    10
    This is most definently one of Björk's best albums. It's magnificently human and ultimately beautiful. As emotionally raw and glorious as 'Homogenic'.
  40. arianiu.i
    Jun 22, 2007
    9
    i hate politics! so i loovvee this album (; and "earth intruders" is very suitable for this "global warning" moments.
  41. lorenas.
    Jul 3, 2007
    10
    Well as this one, bjork has a special feeling of doing different things and it has a reason, her reason, and it's very funny listening different instruments each time every single album and real satisfactory to listening something weird and hard to digestion, just for some of us
  42. erlingo
    May 13, 2007
    9
    Good Björk so good her 3d best.
  43. Rodi
    May 17, 2007
    7
    The album starts out brilliantly! But during the second half it's like she loses focus and the album becomes dull and, exept for "Declare Independance", uninteresting.
  44. TristramC
    Jun 16, 2007
    8
    God bless Bjork Guðmundsdóttir! Bjork contribution to pop & avant garde in the last 15 years has been among the most interesting stories of that time. No artist has more deftly balanced fearless adventureousness with consistantcy. An artist like Bjork you'd assume would have by now discovered the dark side of following every fanciful whim, producing a turkey or two. Yet God bless Bjork Guðmundsdóttir! Bjork contribution to pop & avant garde in the last 15 years has been among the most interesting stories of that time. No artist has more deftly balanced fearless adventureousness with consistantcy. An artist like Bjork you'd assume would have by now discovered the dark side of following every fanciful whim, producing a turkey or two. Yet looking back over her catelog each of her proper studio releases and both of her soundtracks has its own soul, statement & meaningful contribution as a definative chapter to Bjorks legacy and gift to the world. This record is no different. It takes time to hear it (it took me about 15 spins) but just about everything you've ever loved about a past Bjork release is on this record. Admittedly, some of the child-like exhuberance that used to light up a room has been dulled by the weight of our times. It burns still but feels labored like she has to work at keeping it lit. That aside, who Bjork is to us - planet earths finest offering of avante garde melded with pop music, is better defined on this record than anything previously. Both houses are represented here equally only its avante garde who opens the door first this time around. If this surprises you read the extensive guest artist list for Volta. Aside from Timbaland the most mainstrean contributor is the Tazmanian who flails & kicks behind the kit for Lightning Bolt. Any grumblings you've heard are merely due to the fact there are more pop fans who listen to Bjork than avant garde ones and pop fans are lazy and don't want to put in the work. To be a Bjork fan though is to enjoy the work - to enjoy the embrace of wonder, release the attachment of expectation and letting Bjork guide you to its Volta's purpose. Your beloved ice-pixie has not forsaken you with Volta. Its her most challenging, rewarding album yet. Expand
  45. KhalidB
    Aug 12, 2007
    10
    First time i listened through the cd, i thought it was a complete dissapointment, then i listened it again, it was possibly one of the most amazing things ive listened to this year (besides The Con,Ga Ga Ga,Maths and English etc.) i think a high light is the duets with Anthony, it showed how much emotion she can sing with, it was soo haunting, so original, it almost brought a year to my First time i listened through the cd, i thought it was a complete dissapointment, then i listened it again, it was possibly one of the most amazing things ive listened to this year (besides The Con,Ga Ga Ga,Maths and English etc.) i think a high light is the duets with Anthony, it showed how much emotion she can sing with, it was soo haunting, so original, it almost brought a year to my eye when i first heard the song, it was soo amazing. Bjork, good job, another great success. I hope you put the dull flame on your greatest hits cd (which i expect will be out in the following years) Expand
  46. Oct 28, 2013
    8
    Volta is as crazy as the artwork the first part is energetic, thumping and all over the place, while the the second is more mature, pensieve and philosophical.
  47. May 12, 2013
    9
    A very confusing album (when we talk about the lyrics), the sound is enough to please whatever person who enjoy Bjork's work. Each song is completely different from the other at the sound. The best is Wanderlust, it makes you dance in your room. I think she could do a better work with the last songs, at the last part the album turns a little boring, but this is a really good CD.
  48. Oct 29, 2013
    8
    Exuberant, adventurous, sometimes a bit overindulgent narrative of a globalizing world. Contains some of Björks best lyrics (like Innocence) yet is sometimes marred by a somewhat overenthousiastic Timbaland-beat (Earth Intruders and Innocence). The more overt Björk-tracks have been criticized of being adrift and not having any direction but there's a superb beauty in this moreExuberant, adventurous, sometimes a bit overindulgent narrative of a globalizing world. Contains some of Björks best lyrics (like Innocence) yet is sometimes marred by a somewhat overenthousiastic Timbaland-beat (Earth Intruders and Innocence). The more overt Björk-tracks have been criticized of being adrift and not having any direction but there's a superb beauty in this more narrative-like style. Collaborations with Antony Hegarty (The Dull Flame of Desire) and Mark Bell (I See Who You Are, Declare Independence) take centre-stage here while the overly present Timbaland-collaborations fade a bit. Expand
  49. Nov 26, 2014
    10
    Genuine and original. Not the best, but Volta bring to us the pure hope and good energy that I have not seen since Homogenic (actually, Vespertine and Medúlla are pretty good too).
  50. Jan 22, 2015
    10
    I love this album, it is not one of her best but also it is still bad because of it, declare independence is the best oh god music I want to go crazy when I hear this song, björk is the best.
  51. Mar 2, 2015
    10
    I honestly cannot believe that people call this her worst album when Biophilia exists. This is the one that got me introduced to her work and I find it funny that people say "stay away from this album if you want to start listening to her! Terrible introductory album." To each their own, I guess.
  52. Jun 5, 2015
    9
    I doubt Volta is Björk's best album to date, but is arguably her most organic, viscerally transparent, sonically challenging and fully-textured; and that's more than enough to call it just brilliant.

    8.7/10
  53. Sep 10, 2015
    9
    This album it's soooooo good. Not my favourite by Björk, but it stills being amazing.
    Freaking amazing, just as she wants to.
    ........................
  54. Nov 15, 2015
    7
    Although Bjork's vocals are on point, I find this album to be a weaker effort than her previous work; however, it is still good. The main issue I have with this album is that the horn sections in the songs all kind of sound the same which makes this album seem redundant. On the bright side, I love the spunk and energy of this album especially on tracks like "Innocence" and "Wanderlust".Although Bjork's vocals are on point, I find this album to be a weaker effort than her previous work; however, it is still good. The main issue I have with this album is that the horn sections in the songs all kind of sound the same which makes this album seem redundant. On the bright side, I love the spunk and energy of this album especially on tracks like "Innocence" and "Wanderlust". It's not her best, but it is still worth the listen. Expand
  55. Jan 28, 2016
    10
    Declare independence
    Don't let them do that to you
    Declare independence
    Don't let them do that to you
    Justice
    Start your own currency
    Make your own stamp
    Protect your language
  56. Jan 28, 2016
    8
    I like how its both thoughtful, introspective at sometimes like in Pneumonia and My Juvenile and both energitic and effortless like Earth Intruders and Wanderlust. The thing about this album that make it seem bad for some, are the way the music flow throught the album. there are many inteeruptions like I See Who You Are right after the Explosive Innocence, Veertebrae by Vertebrar rightI like how its both thoughtful, introspective at sometimes like in Pneumonia and My Juvenile and both energitic and effortless like Earth Intruders and Wanderlust. The thing about this album that make it seem bad for some, are the way the music flow throught the album. there are many inteeruptions like I See Who You Are right after the Explosive Innocence, Veertebrae by Vertebrar right before the reflexive Pneumonia. Expand
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.