It is easy to take the BBC’s Later… With Jools Holland for granted. Though remarkably hit-and-miss in its two decades on air, this compilation is a reminder that, with the right guest, few televisual vehicles can really capture the essence of a live performance as well as this show.
That the artist here is Björk means that this near-career- spanning collection also acts as a reminder of her restless invention, glorious vocal ability and consistently spectacular live shows. This supersedes 2003’s Later… DVD, adding clips from Björk’s two most recent appearances on the programme, though nothing else in the way of extras. Fans who don’t already own the earlier release will be dazzled by a series of re-interpretations including a stripped-down Possibly Maybe, Bacherlorette and Joga performed with breath-taking string arrangements, and obscurity So Broken backed with flamenco guitar.
Of the additions to this package, 2007’s Volta is best represented by the stomping Earth Intruders and the cyber-punk of Declare Independence. Last year’s performance in support of Biophilia sees Björk as cutting edge as ever on the stuttering Thunderbolt and an awestruck Cosmogony.