Volta

  • Record Label: Atlantic
  • Release Date: May 8, 2007
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. 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. Volta is Björk’s best album yet.
  3. It's probably Bjork's most succinct and inventive statement yet.
  4. Filter
    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. The result is less cohesive than Vespertine or Medulla but the fun’s in the exuberance, the jolting between musical styles.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Volta is a strong album with memorable, remarkable tracks that have great variety, so much that the album loses cohesion.
  12. It finds the perfect balance between the vibrancy of her poppier work in the '90s and her experiments in the 2000s.
  13. 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.
  14. It's in the vein of 'Debut' in terms of songwriting but there are a lot more samples of foghorns on this record.
  15. 'Volta' is another amazing statement of intent - full of hope, eccentricity and wonderfulness.
  16. Uncut
    80
    She's rarely sounded more alive. [Jun 2007, p.92]
  17. Mojo
    80
    Volta bristles with life. [Jun 2007, p.102]
  18. 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.
  19. Listen intently, repeatedly, and you'll hear much to widen your consciousness... But listen for, you know, enjoyment and you'll be left wanting.
  20. 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.
  21. By no measure is Volta a great album, but it is quite good. And, the deeper you delve, the more it has to offer.
  22. Volta is her most accessible album in years, even if it is sometimes at the expense of its own best interest.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Blender
    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]
  26. Spin
    70
    Her vision is worth the price of submission. [Jun 2007, p.90]
  27. Under The Radar
    70
    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]
  28. Volta isn't nearly as groovy as it sounds on paper.
  29. Beyond the interstellar electro-club vibe, it's still distinctively Björk on the ballads.
  30. Billboard
    60
    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
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 229 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 84
  2. Negative: 8 out of 84
  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, throughFantastic, 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. 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 mainAlthough 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. Full Review »
  3. 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 highHer 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. Full Review »