As a rule, I'm not into live recordings. I also have little regard for the best-of albums, and I really can't be bothered with remix collections. But no rule is without exceptions, and Bjö¨rk is, as a rule, an exception.
True, since 2007, she's been inundating her fans with new versions of older albums, but her newest product intrigues: The Icelandic Juggernaut is serving up a total multimedia "experience" of her Volta tour in bite-sized portions, one of which is the "live in the studio" album, Voltaic. The effort includes five songs from the 2007 Volta album—not greatly altered—plus new versions of six old favorites.
Probably the album's most successful reappraisal of an older song, "The Pleasure is all Mine," was originally recorded a cappella with enough panting and moaning in the mix to really sell the "pleasure" part. The Voltaic version presents "Pleasure" as a wee-hours torch song—intimate in a wholly new way. But then there are misses. "Army of Me" pales in comparison to the 1995 original. Overall, for new converts or old fans, Voltaic is as fine an iteration of the Bjö¨rkness as any of her better albums, and die-hard collectors won't wait for my permission to love it.