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Surrounded (Björk album)

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Box set by Björk
Released 27 June 2006
Label One Little Indian
Björk chronology
Drawing Restraint 9
(2005)Drawing Restraint 92005

Surrounded is the third box set by Icelandic musician Björk. It was released on 27 June 2006 through One Little Indian. It is a collection of seven of her studio albums, issued in the DualDisc format—one side contains the original longplayers, while the other one includes their remastered versions in surround sound, in tandem with music videos and additional features. While the box set did not impact any record charts, music critics gave mixed to positive reviews to Surrounded. Most of them were positive towards its packaging and affirmed it was an effective showcase of Björk's catalogue. Nonetheless, criticism was targeted towards its opportunistic nature and technicalities.

Content and release[edit]

Surrounded compiles reissues of five of Björk's studio albumsDebut (1993), Post (1995), Homogenic (1997), Vespertine (2001) and Medúlla (2004)—in addition to Selmasongs (2000), and Drawing Restraint 9 (2005), her soundtrack albums. They are pressed in DualDiscs, which possess both a CD side and a DVD side. The former contains each album as originally released, whereas they appear remastered in both DTS and Dolby 5.1 on the latter.[1][2] Paul 'P-Dub' Walton was the project's sound engineer, having been responsible for the remasters.[3] Ken Richardson of Sound and Vision described Richardson's work on the box set as a "truly surrounding mix", adding it provides "authority" to Björk's "fragile" voice, while making "the icy electronics warm up in the newly expansive atmosphere."[4] The DVD sides incorporate the music videos of each album's singles, the exceptions being the discs for Selmasongs and Drawing Restraint 9 do not include any visuals, but the latter features an extra track—"Petrolatum".[nb 1][3] The collection is bundled in M/M Paris-designed "hot metallic pink packaging", which Kurt Orzeck of MTV says "is a work of art in and of itself",[1][5] and Mark Pytlik characterised as a continuation of Björk's "fetishization of the physical artifact".[6] The albums are accompanied by their original artwork.[7] Surrounded was released in the United Kingdom on 27 June 2006;[1] its components were also made available individually.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[9]
The Austin Chronicle3/5 stars[7]
The Buffalo News4/4 stars[10]
Entertainment Weekly(positive)[11]
Global Rhythm(mixed)[12]
The Oklahoman(positive)[13]
Pitchfork Media(5.9/10)[6]
The San Diego Union-Tribune3.5/5 stars[8]
San Francisco Chronicle(Good)[14]
Spin4/5 stars [15]

Surrounded elicited mixed to positive reviews from music critics. George Lang, writing in The Oklahoman, recommended the boxset to fans of Björk, commending its inclusion of the artist's videography.[13] On behalf of the San Francisco Chronicle, Aidin Vaziri praised the sound quality and packaging, but was ambivalent towards the collection's price and opined that the "quality of the music is wildly inconsistent".[14] Sound and Vision evaluated the sound of the remasters positively; according to reviewer Ken Richardson, they are "never less than excellent". Although he drew praise to the bonus features, he noted the "static" menus of the DVDs.[4] The San Diego Union-Tribune found it suitable for "completists with high-end audio gear";[8] The Buffalo News said the boxset "should help put this clearly brilliant artist in both proper context and proper light."[10] Ryan Dombal of Entertainment Weekly assessed it as a "luxurious treat" and reckoned it "revitalizes some of the most ambitious pop music of the last 13 years", despite finding the compendium antithetical to Björk's "relevant" status. The remasters of Vespertine and Medúlla were singled out in the review.[11]

Heather Phares of AllMusic described the boxset as "beautifully packaged" and practical, whereas The Austin Chronicle reviewer Melanie Haupt denoted the technical problems adjacent to the DualDisc, stating, "The work and its evolution speaks for itself. (...) Too bad the hardware doesn't."[9][7] Mark Pytlik's review for Pitchfork Media contextualized Surrounded in a flurry of Björk releases. He stated it is not worth purchasing, adding that "she's pretty much guaranteed to come back with another one that's bigger and better in a few years' time anyway."[6] Global Rhythm's Jeff Tamarkin viewed the inclusion of "the more sonically pedestrian original recordings" as unnecessary, complimenting the remasters and videos.[12]


  1. ^ In addition to their audio counterpart:
    • the Debut disc contains videos for "Human Behaviour", "Venus as a Boy", "Play Dead", "Big Time Sensuality" and "Violently Happy";
    • the Post disc contains videos for "Army of Me", "Isobel", "It's Oh So Quiet", "Hyperballad", "Possibly Maybe" and "I Miss You";
    • the Homogenic disc contains videos for "Jóga", "Bachelorette", "Hunter", "Alarm Call" and "All Is Full of Love";
    • the Vespertine disc contains videos for "Hidden Place", "Pagan Poetry", "Cocoon", "It's in Our Hands" and "Nature is Ancient";
    • the Medúlla disc contains videos for "Who Is It", "Triumph of a Heart", "Desired Constellation", "Where Is the Line" and "Oceania".[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Bjork To Release Career-Spanning Box Set". Chart Attack. 16 May 2006. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2006. 
  2. ^ Schofield, Jack (2 August 2007). "No taste for high-quality audio". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 April 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Surrounded (Media notes). Björk. One Little Indian. 2006. 
  4. ^ a b Richardson, Ken (5 October 2006). "Tracking Surround: Björk DualDiscs". Sound and Vision. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  5. ^ Orzeck, Kurt (26 June 2006). "New Releases: Dashboard Confessional. Tha Dogg Pound, Shawwna, Lostprophets, Lord Jamar, Bjork & More". MTV. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Pytlik, Mark. "Björk— Surrounded". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Haupt, Melanie (25 August 2006). "Björk — Surrounded (Rhino/Elektra)". The Austin Chronicle. Archived from the original on 10 October 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c G.V. "From A (Amos) to V (Various Artists), we've got you covered". The San Diego Union Tribune. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Björk — Surrounded". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Discs". The Buffalo News. 7 July 2006. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Dombal, Ryan. "Surrounded (Music - Bjork)". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Tamarkin, Jeff (30 March 2007). "Björk — Surrounded". Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Lang, George (7 July 2006). "Alternative: Bjork 'Surrounded' (Elektra/Rhino)". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Vaziri, Aidin (25 June 2006). "CD Reviews". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  15. ^ Dolan, Jon (August 2006). "Reissues". Spin. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 

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