Björk Family Tree

After a predictable greatest hits set just before Christmas for casual fans, Björk does it up right for the hardcore collectors. Family Tree is an ornamental box-set with five three-inch CDs collecting various odds and sods ranging from her pre-Sugarcubes band Kukl to Debut demos to nine songs with the Brodsky Quartet. The strings disc is the strongest, even if most of the arrangements are hardly surprising compared to the original studio recordings. That said, the Brodsky version of "Anchor Song" is one of Björk's most spellbinding performances ever put to tape and is guaranteed to send shivers. A 2001 collaboration with Zeena Parkins, the harpist who accompanied her on her Vespertine tour, is the best of the previously unreleased songs. A full-length CD features Björk's personal picks of her greatest hits, which isn't drastically different than the single-disc version, except that it includes two songs from Dancer in the Dark and is 12 minutes and three songs shorter. There's plenty more material missing: there's nothing here from her jazz album Gling-Glo, nor from her debut album when she was 12, and hardly anything from her many surrenders to radical remixers. But judged solely on present content and the elaborate packaging, it's a must-have for any serious Björk fan. (Elektra)