Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Björk / Surrounded / Rating: 5.9

"It would have been faster just to burn my money."

It's true. It is all very true.

I know way too much about Björk so normally it is very hard for me to read any review and not pick it apart but Pitchfork got this one very right. In fact this is the first Björk release that actually makes me a little angry. Is it too much to ask for at least one brand new never heard before track? Something, anything fresh beyond the packaging and remastered versions?

Damn you Icelandic woman- have you gone mad? Money hungry? What is your reasoning behind all this?

I haven't read any interviews or articles explaining just why Surrounded needed to happen, no less smack in the middle of 2006 when not only is she still very much alive but certainly still making new music and miles from a serious gift giving season. I am assuming this box set will still be around for the holidays (which to me would have been a more appropriate time to release this in the first place) but this heat of the summer street date makes me wonder if the box is limited and if so, to how many. I couldn't find that info on line anywhere so maybe one of you kind readers knows the answer?

To put it mildly I am Björk fanatic and have been collecting her work obsessively since her Sugarcubes days. Once upon a time I was willing to purchase all of the hundreds of singles/dvds/ full lengths. I collected them in numerous formats and in multiple versions thanks to pressings from all over the world but a few years ago I finally got fed up and put an end to the madness. A new release a month (maybe not exactly but it certainly has felt like that) was / is plain overkill. Not only is it financially impossible for me to show that kind of support but who the hell has the time and energy to keep track of her massive ever expanding catalog?

Not only am I too broke right now to splurge on this box set but I also own this most of this material already. Oh and I also don't have Dolby 5.1. Don't get me wrong, if Santa left it under the tree this year I wouldn't complain but it is simply not in my budget any time soon nor do I expect to be upgrading my stereo system in the near future either. Besides there is already Bose 6.1 channel surround sound floating around out there so this collection is technically already outdated.

And just how many people listen to their cds in their dvd players anyhow?

It's not professional of me or very fair to rate a cd collection I don't own / have decided to boycott so I won't insult it / you with a number rating. Passing on this title as a mega-fan I think speaks louder than any rating in print form possibly could. Ultimately it is an artist's choice to do whatever the hell they want with their music but looking at the under 800 units (ouch) Surrounded has sold since its release nearly a month ago also leads me to believe that most of her public isn't buying what she is trying to sell...at least this time around.

There is surprisingly little information beyond the basic sale info about Surrounded on line but I do find these Amazon comments rather illuminating. I know I shouldn't be that surprised but it was still disturbing to discover that even this all inclusive box set varies depending on the country it comes from. (Insert wild cursing here.)

According to her MySpace site, Björk is working on a new record right now so we can expect a flurry of new titles to ponder purchasing but at least it won't be any time soon.