|3. I've Seen It All|
|5. In The Musicals|
|6. 107 Steps|
|7. New World|
This album is an astonishing thing to listen to, even though there aren't many songs. It also lets you relive the movie, even the heartbreaking scene where Björk's character Selma dies. Buy it!
Not content with having a leading role in a high-production musical, she also wrote and produced the entire soundtrack, "Selmasongs." The soundtrack is simply one of the best soundtracks that money can buy and ranks alongside Homogenic and Vespertine as Bjork's greatest work to date. Lush sweeping arrangements of orchestral bliss infuse the album with a wonderfully atmospheric and aesthetically-pleasing back drop of sounds, layered on top of each other. The production and composition is first-class and Bjork is, as ever, 100% original in her approach.
"Overture" opens the album. A deep flow of subdued and slightly anticipated instruments introduces the song, and it gradually builds up to a point of almost heart-aching passion at 2:29, and the song gains momentum and flows especially into the first proper song. It's a wonderful instrumental, incredibly dramatic and sets the tone for the soundtrack. "Cvalda" is one of my favourite songs from the album and one of Bjork's best in my opinion. The song starts off with a very interesting beat from an industrial factory. The machines clattering away at work, creating the beat. This then builds up into a gleeful and joyous musical number as Bjork sings so sweetly, "Clatter, crash, clack! Racket, bang, thump!" By the second minute it's an all-out schizophrenia of musical madness. Overall it's a marvellous song that starts off with an expected sense of disappointment but winds up being a mad musical masterpiece.
"I've Seen It All" is up next and a fantastic duet between Bjork and the genius Thom Yorke of Radiohead. The song starts off with a train on a track as its beat, before starting off slowly and in a swaying mood. The song gradually builds into a typical Bjork-esque masterpiece (Yeah, most of her songs are masterpieces!) where she sonically opens up the landscapes of the song by adding depth. It's just a pleasure to listen to such wonderful music, and the verbal-fencing style banter between the two is most humorous. "Scatterheart" is said to be the best song on the album by many who have reviewed this soundtrack. For me this is definitely not the case. There is much better on offer here, yet this is still a good song of somewhat lengthy proportions.
"In The Musicals" makes hardly any sense at all, but then again, it pays homage to musicals, so it's not really meant to! Here Bjork just appears to have picked up any objects she finds and makes a beat out of them, from a basketball at the start to many other various things towards the end. A superb string section works in complete harmony with a percussion section. Superb, as usual. "107 Steps" starts off incredibly close to the ear with a woman whispering "Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten..." and so on, with footsteps in time with the counting. This builds up perfectly to an awesome entrance from Bjork as she sings random numbers. The beat is incredibly catchy and the lush string section that builds up after around 45 seconds is just awe-inspiring. "New World" is the seventh and final song on this brief soundtrack. It starts off subdued and quiet with the sweeping orchestral beat that opened the record. A trippy electronica beat is added in the background, dancing around to Bjork's soaring vocals. She sings with such passion, such amazement and exploration to the things around her, and a general appreciation for life and love.
OVERALL GRADE: 10/10
All in all, I cannot recommend this soundtrack enough. I haven't actually seen Dancer In The Dark yet, but I do plan on doing so. I have, admittedly, been trying to pick this album for any possible flaws. I can, as always with masterpieces by Bjork, find none at all, except one - it's a little bit too short. At just over thirty minutes, it's a short and brief soundtrack, but it really is worth paying top money for it because you're sure to get years of musical enjoyment out of this. Selmasongs was the fourth album by Bjork that I bought (around a month ago), and I haven't looked back. Rumour has it she's got a new album out this year, and I am so buying it! But whilst I wait, I know I can revel in the madness and musical beauty that is Selmasongs. Buy it now and treasure it forever.