Volta - Björk

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. As with much of her past work, it’s almost embarrassingly human, sometimes sounding too close to you to believe it’s not your own.
  2. It's probably Bjork's most succinct and inventive statement yet.
  3. Volta is Björk’s best album yet.
  4. 90
    You have not only a Bjork that's fun again, but an album that is simultaneously politically charged, esoteric and glossy with mainstream appeal. [#25, p.88]
  5. Even as the music settles into some of the visionary Icelandic artist's familiar contours, she stirs in enough new ingredients to keep things moving.
  6. Volta is a weird mess of an album, but it's also Björk's most approachable and immediate since Homogenic.
  7. 'Volta' is another amazing statement of intent - full of hope, eccentricity and wonderfulness.
  8. Initial listens leave the impression that Volta is a top-heavy release, but as with Vespertine repeat visitations see the record smoothing and flattening out, with consistency becoming apparent over a shorter period of time than with many a Bjork LP before it.
  9. It's in the vein of 'Debut' in terms of songwriting but there are a lot more samples of foghorns on this record.
  10. 80
    Volta bristles with life. [Jun 2007, p.102]
  11. 80
    She's rarely sounded more alive. [Jun 2007, p.92]
  12. It finds the perfect balance between the vibrancy of her poppier work in the '90s and her experiments in the 2000s.
  13. Volta lacks the unity of vision and enveloping sensuality of Vespertine and Medulla, but no one else could have made this record, voracious in its synthesis of world music.
  14. Björk's mind remains artistically open to just about anything, and on this album she sounds like she's enjoying recharging it with another tranche of skewed new ideas.
  15. The result is less cohesive than Vespertine or Medulla but the fun’s in the exuberance, the jolting between musical styles.
  16. Volta is a strong album with memorable, remarkable tracks that have great variety, so much that the album loses cohesion.
  17. An album so confident in its experimental spirit that its eclecticism seems nothing short of captivating, even though its charms are subtle enough to require a little time before they become apparent.
  18. While Bjork's past sounds are arguably better than most, Volta is perhaps the first Bjork effort that looks backwards instead of forward into the future. [Summer 2007, p.79]
  19. 70
    Even if nobody's made a record that sounds much like this before, she's given her performance here too many times already. [Jun 2007, p.106]
  20. 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.
  21. 70
    Her vision is worth the price of submission. [Jun 2007, p.90]
  22. 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.
  23. Listen intently, repeatedly, and you'll hear much to widen your consciousness... But listen for, you know, enjoyment and you'll be left wanting.
  24. Volta is her most accessible album in years, even if it is sometimes at the expense of its own best interest.
  25. As rich as this stuff sounds (it’s hard to think of a working musician with classier production values) or how much she emotes on the mic, it’s calculated, cerebral and a little bit cold.
  26. By no measure is Volta a great album, but it is quite good. And, the deeper you delve, the more it has to offer.
  27. As she sets her sights on bigger targets, namely war and terrorism, it's hard not to wish she'd remained as narrowly focused on the politics of personal freedom.
  28. Beyond the interstellar electro-club vibe, it's still distinctively Björk on the ballads.
  29. Volta isn't nearly as groovy as it sounds on paper.
  30. Even Björk's misses are more exciting than most of what we currently call hits. [12 May 2007]
  31. "Volta," much like "Medulla," is an appealing series of collaborations and musical ideas that do not quite jell in their final, recorded versions.
  32. Nothing Bjork does is ever less than provocative... Just don’t expect to it to force you out of your seat.
  33. Where even her most divisive albums have managed to push her artistic boundaries, Volta feels limp and strangely empty-- almost unfinished.
  34. An album of pasty songs, severe missteps and bizarre overreaches, but an album nevertheless shimmering occasionally with the inherent sometime-genius of its creator, Volta is one of those pretty-bad records that may stick around, may sound better in a few years.
  35. Fans might find it a fascinating revelation, and Madonna will likely swipe a few ideas, while everyone else is left wondering what happened to the tunes.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 73
  2. Negative: 8 out of 73
  1. Jun 24, 2011
    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. Full Review »
  2. Oct 29, 2013
    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 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. Full Review »
  3. Oct 28, 2013
    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. Full Review »