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The latest from Icelandic innovator Bjork is as much a musical ‘eclection’ as her last album, 1997’s eerie Homo-genic. Selmasongs is different, however, in that it is music from Lars von Trier’s musical drama Dancing in the Dark, which earned Bjork the Best Actress award at the Cannes Festival this spring.

The melodies on this album are where the beauty lies. The most heart-wrenching song I’ve ever heard is Track 3, “I’ve Seen It All”, a duet with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke (yes, it is as good as that combination demands it should be). Its sadness stems from the plot of the film which has Bjork playing a single, factory-working mother (Selma) who is going blind, and realises her son will as well unless they save enough money for an operation. Yorke sings the part of her son, and they switch off asking each other about things they haven’t seen, and don’t care to.

Selmasongs continues in the vein of Homogenic in that dark, haunting melodies prevail. However, the addition of von Trier as co-songwriter results in the jubilant, showy “Cvalda” a duet with acclaimed French actress Catherine Deneuve, who co-stars in the film. Although the album is short with only seven songs, each song is impeccable. From the inspirational orchestration of “New World” to the basketball court squeaks of “In the Musicals”, Selmasongs is a must for any fan of Bjork’s creativity and spirit.

— Alicia Cox

Robbie Williams
Sing While Your Winning

After a year of soul-searching and heartache, the man behind the boy band Take That re-surfaces with a new album entitled, Sing When You’re Winning. Heartthrob Robbie Williams delivers guitar-fueled rock anthems and super-sexy funk hits that will make you get up and dance your blues away. Alongside the naked rebel Robbie, you will also find the shy and affectionate boy who writes of his heartbreaking experiences and pulls you into his suffering world with that ever so soft, sensual voice.

The album is full of passionate, mournful, poetic lyrics that are emotionally draining. They break your heart and then fill it with hope. This year’s “Angel” is “Better Man,” a song that reminds us that God is watching, with spiritual lyrics like, “...send someone to love me/I need to rest in arms...I’m doing al I can to be a better man.” It’s the kind of teary song to listen to in front of the fireplace curled up in a blanket on a rainy day. And if you don’t like the balladry in the album, there’s always the fun, upbeat tracks like “Rock DJ” and “Supreme” that remind you there’s love to be found and sex to be had. This album will make love to you unlike any other CD before. It’s sexy, clever, intelligent, and there’s enough naked Robbies inside the cover for everyone.

— Natalia Diaz

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