If Björk is dependable for anything, it’s being undependable.
She has a gift for showing the breadth of the human experience – “There’s definitely, definitely, definitely no logic to human behavior,” she once sang.
With “Volta,” the Icelander’s sixth solo studio album, she zigs in a different direction from the records that preceded it. If “Vespertine” was a wintry music box and “Medúlla” was a daring experiment in the abilities of the human voice, “Volta” is Björk opening the floor to all possibilities.
The slab starts with a strong track, “Earth Intruders,” a tribal number that is one of three on “Volta” produced by famed producer Timbaland. After as subdued as “Vespertine” and “Medúlla” could be, this is Björk’s playful side showing up again.
She goes bonkers on “Declare Independence,” her unbelievable voice showing its guttural growl against the throb of an urgent beat to make “Volta’s” best track.
It’s not as cohesive a unit as “Vespertine,” “Medúlla” or even “Homogenic,” but in its own eclectic way, “Volta” is Björk doing what she does best – wriggling away when you think you’re about to get a handle on her.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.