Picks and Pans Review: Telegram
Since she left the Sugarcubes for a solo career in 1992, Björk has embarked on some of pop music's most excellent adventures. As if the experimental sonics and obtuse lyrics of her last disc, 1995's Post, weren't a strange enough head trip, for her new album the Icelandic sprite has enlisted various cutting-edge collaborators to rework nine of Post's songs, and she has crafted one percussive oddity ("My Spine") from scratch. Underground producer Dobie gives "I Miss You" some backbone by transforming it into bouncy hip hop, while the Brodsky Quartet turns "Hyperballad," previously an ethereal bit of synth pop, into stately chamber music. And British remixer Dillinja actually improves on "Cover Me" by fleshing it out with stuttering drum-and-bass rhythms.
As intriguing as such radical reinvention might be, it doesn't always fly. Telegram's slithery, portentous "Possibly Maybe" has nothing to do with the dreamlike Post version. And the techno duo Outcast turns "Enjoy" into a cacophonous wall of noise that goes so far over the atonal edge, it's unrecognizable, undanceable and far too ungainly for anyone to heed the title. (Elektra)
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