Bjork has always been one to follow her muse, and after 2004's Medulla, a foray into the sonic avant garde, one had to wonder if she would continue following it straight into the abstract outer limits. But 2007's Volta marks something of a return to pop form for Bjork. Not to say that the album is conventional by any stretch--it's still Bjork, after all--but there is greater evidence of her pop sensibility than on any album since 1997's Homogenic.
The album's first single, "Earth Intruders," is a case in point. An exhilarating tribal stomp boasting production by Timbaland and clanking orchestration from the Congolese ensemble Konono No. 1, the track is a stunning opening salvo. Volta offers other moments of hip-shaking thunder ("Innocence"), alongside more melodic, contemplative fare such as "Wanderlust" and "The Dull Flame of Desire," which features the gorgeous voice of Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons. Varied, engaging, and wildly imaginative front to back, Volta is another remarkable release from one of pop's reigning geniuses.