Björk Selmasongs (Elektra)
Reviewed by Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 13, 2000
Selmasongs (Elektra)The hits just keep a-comin' for Iceland's pixellated chanteuse Björk Gudmundsdottir, though with Selmasongs, it's her character Selma from Danish director Lars Von Trier's new fatalistic song-dance-'n'-death epic Dancer in the Dark who's taking all the broadsides. This companion CD collects the film's six musical numbers, and though it's pure Björk through and through, it's also rather incomprehensible if you haven't seen the film itself. Selma is virtually blind, a factory worker who fantasizes herself in Hollywood musicals, which draw their beats from the monotonous groove of the steel-pressing factory noises that make up her daily grind. It sounds like what the elder Mrs. Björk might've forced on the Björkette in utero, actually, and though the numbers are less standard musical fare than you might hope (nary an "It's Oh So Quiet" amongst them), they still maintain the singer's oddball, post-Sugarcubes feel. More of note are the tracks "Cvalda," a duet with Catherine Deneuve, and "I've Seen It All," featuring Radiohead's Thom Yorke. Neither song is much of a revelation, but for completists, the notion of a Björk/Deneuve pairing is exquisitely bizarre. As it is for Deneuve fans as well, I'd imagine.