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CD Review - Bj & amp;ouml;rk, Selmasongs 

& & by Chris Clancy & & & &

Bj & amp;Ouml;rk's first album in nearly three years, Selmasongs is also the soundtrack for avante garde director, Lars von Trier's, Dancer in the Dark -- in which the Icelandic singer also stars. The soundtrack mirrors musical numbers in the film with some slight alteration to make them more palatable as works unto themselves. Bj & amp;Ouml;rk fans will be pleased with the rich, otherworldly vocal stylings and electronic sensibilities that pick up where they left off with 1997's Homogenic.

The instrumental opening Overture sets the tone for the album, which as it gathers momentum, reveals an appropriately dark and cinematic feel. Cvalda, with its use of mechanical and industrial sounds creates complex, spirited rhythms typical of the artist's musical background a la Aphex Twin.

Perhaps the most moving of all of the songs on the CD, is I've Seen It All, pairing Bj & amp;Ouml;rk with Radiohead's Thom Yorke in a lyrically poignant duet describing Selma's stoic descent into darkness as she slowly loses her sight. In The Musicals is another example of the artist's inspired use of typically unmusical sounds as a vehicle for rhythm with the sound of rapidly squeaking gym shoes and chalk or pencil scribbling.

Throughout, Selmasongs is as unique a soundtrack as you'll find -- going beyond the typical collection of disparate, genre-related songs or mood music that pervade most soundtracks. Bj & amp;Ouml;rk approaches the musical in a way that is brilliant and beautiful if only in the artist's typically misunderstood way.
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