1999's 'Balloon Mood' represented a fine glimpse of a fledgling Björk, but on 'Smiling & Waving' Anja Garbarek selects a markedly more minimalist path. Employing the likes of Robert Wyatt and Mark Hollis is indicative of this approach and certainly Talk Talk's 'Laughing Stock' album is a major influence on this recording with its jazz-rock and improvisational leanings. The trouble is that landmark album has already been mastered and developed on by the likes of Bark Psychosis and Hood in the past, but Garbarek lacks the expansive emotional feel of these groups and too often these tracks smack of moody, tuneless posturing. The best moments are those which recall the cute playfulness of the last album such as 'Big Mouth', 'Spin The Context' and 'Stay Tuned' where Garbarek delivers her best vocal turn. With the guest list including luminaries from art-popsters Japan and the London Symphony Orchestra one feels that this is a case of too many cooks. A rethink would seem necessary for a way of honing Garbarek's obvious talent into a much more suitable context.