Björk

Army of Me

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Out of all of Björk's music, the menace, aggression, and no-nonsense attitude of "Army of Me" makes it one of her most distinctive songs. Army of Me: Remixes and Covers features equally distinctive, and very different, interpretations of the song by Björk fans from around the world; in the album's first three tracks alone, it jumps from the Canadian metal of Interzone; the Nouvelle Vague-esque French bossa nova of Grisbi; and the phasers-on-stun synth pop of Sweden's 50 Hertz, Haxor Och Porr, and Slagsmalsklubben. Any worries that a collection of 20 different versions of "Army of Me" could be repetitive are put to rest by the sheer diversity running through the album. Naturally, completely redone interpretations of the song, such as the Messengers of God's countrified singalong and Martin White's accordion instrumental, are the most radically different, but even the remixes of Björk's original have plenty of their own originality. Beats Beyond sets the song's opening explosions and Björk's vocals against a backdrop of limpid synths and shuffle beats, while Dr. Gunni incorporates his own singing and an oddly folky feel into his remix. Other standouts include Lunamoth's whispery, harp-driven interpretation and Alfred Leitor's "Pink Battle Mashup," which features elements of a Soft Pink Truth track and computer-spoken vocals. A surprisingly eclectic and listenable collection, Army of Me: Remixes and Covers also has the bonus of being a charity album benefiting Unicef's work with children, making it a good album for a good cause.

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