For all its extremes, there are still moments that are direct and unmediated and curiously revelatory, and all the more so given that they are set within a context moved by a vitality, a force of life, that makes the album by turns both startling and affecting, warm and yet deeply warped. When singling out any one of these 11 tracks, you´re left with the overwhelming sense that Ratkje´s voice is gloriously possessed by the tongues of more split personalities than there are angels on the head of a pin.
The Wire (UK)
It´s hyper-creative, without compromise and chaotic, and shows that Ratkje, not yet 30, quite possibly is the most complete crossover artist we have these days;
a fantastic free reigning fury that with ease runs rampant between musical genres.
In short, "Voice" is a completely brilliant experience.
The mood scuttles from silly girlish charm to dreamy melancholy and angstridden madness. In short, all you can wish for. "Voice" beats the crap out of everything else I´ve heard of Norwegian, experimental electronic music this year.
Even if the electronic manipulations are responsible for much of the variety in the soundscapes here, the range in Ratkje´s voice is incredible. The music invites to reflections around it´s distinctive character. A brave, cheeky and thought-provoking release. 5/6.
Challenging release from Maja Ratkje in double role as singer and composer. There is a unique sound in her voice and the sheer physical impression never lets go. This release is welcome in that it reintroduces the performing artist in the role of the composer.
Very few records give such a space to vocal performance, and very few artists would be able to carry such a piece of work with ease. More challenging than her work with Spunk, Voice is a unique experience, at once charming and disturbing, and Ratkje can only be admired for undertaking such a project. Let alone achieving beyond all expectations. 4,8/5.
The Milk Factory (UK)
Ratkje is messing with our minds as she toys around with sharp contrasts of quiet/loud, soft/harsh, seductive/painful. She knows she has a beautiful, flexible voice that can both charm like Björk and puzzle like Phil Minton, she knows it and she purposefully deceives the listener. Harsher than what most people were expecting and closer to Jazzkammer than Spunk, Voice hides Ratkje´s impressive vocal prowess under a wall of electronics. After the initial shock wears off, one can only admit that it was a good idea. Recommended, but definitely not for the faint at heart.
Alternative Music Guide (US)
This is crazy, the goosebumps this reviewer is left with after hearing Voice for the first time are totally unreal. With a soundscape that shares as much with Mr. Bungle as with Diamanda Galas, Maja Ratkje has come up with a lovely masterpiece of an album.
Bergens Tidende (NO)
I have to say that this graft of sublimely melodic vocalising, panic attack breathing, hysterical laughter and wonderfully woven samples of all manner of vocal treatments has made a profoundly persuasive impression on me. It is full of her joy in exploring sounds. How did I miss that first time around? Whatever, I am a convert now.