Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Declare Independence Deluxe Single Set
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Rock
Simply not worth it.
W. E. Phillips | USA | 03/31/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"After suffering about three years of Björk withdrawal following the release of her fifth studio album, Medúlla, it was great to finally have new material from her in 2007 with Volta. Many fans were disappointed with it--and I'll admit that it's not her absolute best work--but I still enjoyed the album and it had some killer singles, most notably "Wanderlust." And every fan of hers knows that it doesn't just end after an album. With each single comes a fantastic video and at least one physical CD single with remixes and even B sides. Or at least that's how things used to be. Myself and many of her other fans patiently waited for a physical release of the album's Timbaland-produced first single, "Earth Intruders." Time passed and even more time passed. Eventually, her website promised one to be released two weeks after the album, which was quite odd, in hindsight. I waited even longer to finally get a slap in the face on the "release date." Surprise! The remix EP is an iTunes only release. At that point, it seemed like she had finally given up on physical singles for good, sadly. However, to our excitement, she chose to release these "multi-format" box sets for each single off the album. I quickly pre-ordered "Declare Independence"--the first in the set--as soon as I got the news in December. (By the way, this review is about the UK version, which is the one I own. I cannot guarantee the United States version is exactly the same, although I can't imagine why it wouldn't be.)
This box has beautiful packaging, which was one of the main selling points for me! It follows the layout of the other releases from this era. It has a box the size of a vinyl with flaps on one side, which are held together by a sticker of the Volta sculpture we've come to know and love, except this time it's about ten times bigger. Inside are a set of colorful boxes with lyrics printed on them in the Volta font that gradually become smaller and smaller until the last one, which contains four sleeves. These sleeves contain the DVD, the CD, and the two vinyls. The vinyl and the CD contain the same four tracks, which are listed on this page. (Sadly, I can't make much use of the vinyl because I don't have a turntable.) The "Mark Stent Mix" is pretty much just the album version, which is nice. Quite frankly, it was one of my least favorites from the album, and some wouldn't even consider it a "song," per se. So basically this is here to take up space. The instrumental is very nice; I am glad to have it. It's nice to have the option to hear the great track by Mark Bell alone. I am sorry to say this, but the remixes are terribly disappointing. The "Ghostdigital In Deep End Dance Remix" is just a jumbled, clashing mess of sounds. It sounds as if the remixers just put a two year old, a wooden spoon, and very loud pots and pans in a room and let him lay down the track. It's absolutely wretched and you couldn't pay me enough to listen to the mix again. The "Mathew Herbert Remix" is a bit less offensive, but it's no masterpiece, either. Both remixes show a lack of creativity and add absolutely nothing new to the original song. The DVD includes 5.1 and Dolby Digital audio of the song, which sounds quite nice. The problem is, all that shows up on the screen is one picture of Björk, which obviously grows quite tiring. More importantly, the DVD also contains the music video. In an industrial setting, string goes through a series of spraypaint cans, flows through as the strings of a bass, down to Björk's microphone, to the helmets of zombie-like citizens, and back up. It is very entrancing and actually one of my favorite Björk videos to date.
Bottom line: While I appreciate the fact that Björk has started releasing these box sets for us, even diehards like myself may find this a complete and utter waste of hard-earned cash. The packaging is great and eye-catching, as is the video, but the music portion of this set is extremely lacking, especially the inexcusably poor remixes. (Consider this: the four track EP of "Declare Independence" was sold on iTunes for less than $2.) Also, this set is extremely big. In my collection, mostly made up of CDs, this sticks out like a sore thumb, especially since I can make no use of the vinyl. It would've been much more convenient, ideal, and less costly--at least to fans like me--to have each format available separately. So what do I say to all three formats together in this pricy and bulky box set? Thanks, Björk, but no thanks. It simply isn't worth it."