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Selmasongs Enhanced, Soundtrack

4.4 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 19 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Soundtrack
  • Label: Elektra Entertain.
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004Y6TQ
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54,864 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Overture
2. Cvalda
3. I've Seen It All
4. Scatterheart
5. In The Musicals
6. 107 Steps
7. New World

Product Description

Product Description

Bjork ~ Selmasongs: Dancer In The Dark


In Dancer in the Dark, Björk plays Selma, a Czech mother who labors furiously in order to save her son from an inherited disease that will cause blindness. In the midst of all her hardship, the one thing that keeps her spirits up is musicals. Here lies the premise of the Selmasongs EP. The seven tracks sound like something straight out of a Gene Kelly movie but with one major addendum: Björk's wildly imaginative, postmodern songwriting. The movie's theme of fantasy coexisting with urban industrial bleakness is represented in two recurring elements: mechanical friction (expressed rhythmically in the sounds of train tracks, car engines, chains, and even chalk) and dreamy escapism (manifested in enormous orchestral swells of strings, harp, and other fanciful instrumentation). "Cvalda" is typical of the EP's duality. Industrial noise bleeds into Björk's scatting "Clatter! Crash! Clack! Rattle!" then dives head first into a wonderful tap-dancing-on-a tin-roof, big-band cacophony. The EP's showstopper, the rousing "In the Musicals 1 & 2," sounds like it was conducted with a magic wand. Beginning with Aphex Twin-inspired beats bouncing like a ball bearing dribbled hard on pavement, the intricate rhythmic choreography tromps, flits, and changes direction with seamless angularity. These aren't just songs to dance to, these are songs that dance. --Beth Massa

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I think it's now safe to say that Bjork ranks alongside Kurt Cobain and Madonna as the artist whom I have most respect for in the music industry. Her ability to consistently produce groundbreaking, fresh and atmospheric music is a natural wonder to me. The way she proves people wrong by not making music in a sense, but making something completely different. An art form. Undiscovered. Until she creates it. That's why she's a genius, and that's why she will always succeed in making a fantastic record. In 1997 Bjork released "Homogenic," her third solo studio album to date. After listening to this masterpiece, you begin to think Bjork can't do much else in terms of creativity, yet she proved us all wrong in 2000 when she starred in the musical masterpiece "Dancer In The Dark."
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.
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Format: Audio CD
The movie "Dancer in the Dark" is one of the best movies I've ever seen. The music is one of the things that made it so great. Bjork's voice is one of the most unique and beautiful in music today. She isn't the typical person you'd imagine doing a musical, though. This soundtrack includes most of the songs from the film, including the amazing sound collage "Cvalda" and "I've Seen It All", a beautiful and amazing duet with Thom Yorke of Radiohead (this version of the song is far superior to the one in the film. I listened to the soundtrack version long before I saw the movie, and I was dissapointed by the film version. Thom should have played Jeff in the movie). While every song on this soundtrack is just amazing, it's what's not on there that spoils this disc a bit.
First off, the closing number (we'll call it "The Next To Last Song") is nowhere to be seen on this disk. I know that it would be a little bit tough putting the song on the soundtrack without revealing plot points, but the lyrics are heart wrenching and amazing. On the subject of plot points, the song "Scatterheart" has had its lyrics seriously reworked. All the other actors' voices have been removed alltogether and some of their parts sung by Bjork. the line "you just did what you had to do" is replaced with "you'll just have to find out for yourself". This doesnt really make much sense. Also, the version of "My Favorite Things" that Selma sings while she is in a very dire situation (I wont say what) could have been pumped up with instruments and given a good treatment. If the songs in the movie were all included in their film version, this CD would have scored a 6, but because of these omissions, I can only give it a 4
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Format: Audio CD
....That line from the fun and bouncy "In The Musicals" describes my feelings about this exquisite soudtrack exactly.
I can't imagine why so many consider this a career low-point, when it goes along with a wonderful movie, enhancing the telling of the story of a woman in desperation, denial, and courageousness, so eloquently.
There are so many words I could use to express how much I love this music...some say it's only enjoyable with the movie to go along with it, but, even though I think it's better to see "dancer in the dark" first as an explanation, I often listen to this and am swept away by the magical, lush emotional involvement with the character which brought abotu the magical lush pieces...
It may be short, but to me it is yet another musical landmark from another musical genius...
Songs like Cvalda, I've Seen It All...Scatterheart...In The Musicals...New World and the other introductions and interludes will be forever unforgettable to you.
I know I sound all trite in what I'm saying, but I couldn't be more sincere!
Buy this one, Definitely!! Or miss out...<¦^]
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By A Customer on Oct. 9 2002
Format: Audio CD
I remember hearing "I've seen it all" on Radio 1, Spring, 2 years ago. It was one of those jaw dropping moments when music puts me in a trance. That doesn't happen very often. I bought the CD when it came out. It sounds like what it is, a film soundtrack. However, the music stands up on its own. I didn't see "Dancer In The Dark" until a year later. The tracks are definately Bjork in sound and feel, yet the style is totaly "Musical", and with "Musical's" intense emotion and Bjork's songwriting ability, I found this album very powerful.
I could waffle on for pages, so I'll keep it short.
"Overture" is a brass band piece. Does what it says on the tin.
"Cvalda" is a great exercise in writing a musical number.
"I've seen it all". Dueting with Thom Yorke was a very good idea.
This song has caught me off guard and brought me to tears more than once. And that's not counting the actual lyrics, just the sound. Definition of beauty.
"Scatterheart" is dark in tone and makes the least sense unless you see the film.
"In the musicals" is the most up tempo one. Makes hardly any sense, but the best musical numbers never do. Very cleverly written with soaring strings and a very inventive percussion section.
"107 steps" is my least favourite, but to prove Bjork's talent and love of music she can even make counting to 107 sound beautiful.
"New world" with graceful lyrics and the easiest sounding delivery, the orchestra slowly building to near breaking point,
ending with the theme from "Overture".
The songs have been changed here and there from the way they are in the film.
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