Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Four-CD set features four live albums, 'Debut Live', Post Live', 'Homogenic Live' & 'Vespertine Live', plus a bonus DVD with 5 bonus videos. Includes 36-page booklet. 60 tracks in all, housed in deluxe box with lid. One Li... more »
Four-CD set features four live albums, 'Debut Live', Post Live', 'Homogenic Live' & 'Vespertine Live', plus a bonus DVD with 5 bonus videos. Includes 36-page booklet. 60 tracks in all, housed in deluxe box with lid. One Little Indian Ltd. 2003.
An Intricate And Complex Work Of Artistic Genius
Busy Body | London, England | 01/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Where to begin with such a musical treat such as this? Describing how much I adore this nifty little arrangement is near impossible because my love for Bjork blinds it so much. It was a few days after Christmas in 2003 when I saw Bjork's debut album "Debut" for sale and bought it on the off-chance that I would like it. Little did I know that I was about to embark on the most profoundly amazing musical experience of my life. 2004 for me was Bjork. No one else. In the space of the year I have acquired pretty much her entire back catalogue on CD, and "Live Box" was a welcome addition to this last month.
To firstly understand the importance of a project such as this one must first understand the way in which it is constructed. Bjork is both a visual and musical artist whose work appears to be the end result of just one person's hard work, when in fact everything she does is a collaborative effort. She has always let other people have a say in the work that she does, and she does this because she wants to develop a connection and really make the most of a particular project. This may be a design for a CD cover, a photo shoot, a concert, or even a remix. She knows she can't do all this herself, so she has others helping her, which I find very interesting. With the input of others (and her vision pushing the project forward) she is able to create really big projects, whether it be musically or visually, that boast many different formats and challenge the limits of what that particular field contains.
Undoubtedly one of the best examples of this collaborate effort can be seen in one of Bjork's concerts, which is superbly displayed in this Live Box. Consisting of four live albums, it is a must-have for any Bjork fan. The four CD's are all complete live versions of her first four solo studio albums "Debut," "Post," "Homogenic" and "Vespertine." Bjork especially picks musicians for her tours who are willing to alter the framework of her music while keeping the structure and order the same. She also chooses arenas that are specifically designed for her music. For example, the music on the live Vespertine album was all recorded in opera houses. She chose this because the acoustics of her music would benefit better from the structure of the opera house rather than in a large arena where a lot of the sound would be lost. That's the thing with Bjork, you see: she's not in this to make a quick buck. Her career is her life and we as human beings should respond to this and embrace her passion. She might be in a world of her own, but hey, I'd rather be in hers than the one we're currently in...
The theatrical design of the stage is also very important in the production of shows like this. Her team all offer their opinion and Bjork will choose the ones she thinks are the best, from costume design, stage props and the order of songs. Her live shows seem simple and effortless because of all the hard work that has gone into them. Not many people know what goes on backstage, making it seem effortless. Only when something is effortless is it pure. Now I haven't talked much about the actual music in this collection, but Amazon sells each album individually. Don't worry, I shall be writing reviews for all four individual Live CD's and in great detail - this is too good a collection not too. I felt that it was important to tell newcomers about Bjork's collaborative efforts to make them appreciate her music in a way that is different to any other artist. When you listen to the music on these albums, think of what I said above and if you're ever confused about Bjork's credibility and genius, you'll know why.
This Live Box was released in the summer of 2003 and went down a storm with Bjork fans. Retrospective projects of this size are normally reserved for dead Jazz musicians or classical composers. For a 39-year-old pop star with a mere four solo albums to her name to get this kind of treatment is unprecedented. If any other living musician were to release a similarly grandiose project, it would be seen as an act of unforgivable hubris. This collection also contains a superb DVD which features performances of the songs "One Day," "It's Oh So Quiet," "Joga," "Aurora," and "It's Not Up To You" from different stages during Bjork's career. All in all this collection comprises of four superb CD's and 55 live songs. It is a stellar collection of ground-breaking and misunderstood beautiful music that will be treasured for the rest of time. Essential."
Glad to own this release
homogénica | Chile | 01/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have adquired lots of Björk's material. I wanted the this Live Box because it had the 4 live cd's, with songs that were carefully chosen as the best performances, and it also included the bonus Dvd with 4 tracks that had been released in her other respective Dvds and the exclusive and wicked performance of It's Oh So Quiet at Tatarata (not in any of her dvds). A lot Of people prefered to get the individual cd's but I thought of buying the whole box cause of the money saving and the special dvd. Now that I have it in my hands, I don't regret it. I forgot to mention it also includes the Live Book, which consists of a booklet with an extensive interview by Ási to Björk, where she explains about touring, the musicians, the adventures of doing an album, her icelandic roots and more. It's very nice to read the interview because it's like she's storytelling. There you can see that she's reasonable and creative woman, and you can listen to the live records that have fascinating and entertaining bits of shows from the tours of Debut, Post, Homogenic and Vespertine. She's and excellent live artist, and so she proves that in this set. I was personally amazed by this collection of live songs that were magical, warm, charming, sheltering, beautiful. Definitively worth the buy. I thought it would be better off to get all the live albums at once to hear bits of each. It's so good to see a good compilation of live tracks like this one, and I'm am happy to see Björk really took her time to share these incredible performances for everyone who would want to listen to them."
What's great and annoying about hearing Bjork Live
Said Head | MN, USA | 12/18/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love Bjork and nearly all of her releases; she's truly an artist that'll never seem to gain the deserving amount of appreciation regardless of how many sales and 'I totally get it' fans they earn.
The greatest thing about Bjork live is that the energy is 90% of the time at full blast. She's never just a singer behind a teleprompter just going through the motions waiting for a paycheck. She loves it, and I among so many others love her for it.
Another significant aspect is her ability to adapt and adopt. The instrumentations between studio and live performances are most often a unique plus. While most artists do the safe thing and play how their studio work and producers think the material should be played, Bjork performs how she wants to, with no inhibition despite wanting to make things work how she wants them.
Mind you those two positives are great positives, but I'm finding a few bothersome little details that start to rival her live recordings.
First off is the energy problem. As she usually is very energetic about singing and being on stage she does tend to get a little carried away; not to say being emotional about your work is bad, but sometimes her voice overwhelms and nearly damages the often too fragile compositions (this happens usually with her slower, more gentle songs where that certain musical vulnerabilty had existed from the beginning). And sometimes her voice can't hold up to the hastier songs. There's just too much competition between her and her band.
The compositions themselves are often just too much at once, with huge orchestras, DJ's holding up the pre-programmed ends and atmosphere, sometimes added vocalists, then with a bunch of oddball musicians laced throughout to pinpoint major instrumental parts. Hearing the same electronic noises as heard on her studio albums takes away from the live feel, and in many of these situations those electronic parts can be improvised and re-constructed, or even left out to escape some over-production (she's just one voice against so many other entities).
Then there is the occasional lack of trying, as it sounds, where that 10% rears its ugly head. Some tracks, especially as you can hear on the Vespertine album when I think about it, sound just like/too much like the studio versions, with very similiar to near exact instrumentation and even Bjork's live vocals sound canned. And I'd much rather listen to better quality studio mixes over live arrangements littered with applause.
Then there is the opposite of too like instrumentation, where the songs that we know and love and dismantled and the only recognizable remains of those songs are Bjork's sometimes off-key vocals. It's great to hear what can be done with her music in this way, but to complete abandon most of what made these songs so great in the first place is something of a suicide of integrity.
With this release, however, I am happy with my owning it, hearing so much of her material live, seeing some of her greatest, most memorable performances, and reading an interview where she displays some very introspective thoughts on music. For big Bjork fans this release is vital."