Sunday, 4 October 2009


No post last week, I was to busy, but I've made a list of things I want to blog about in the future, so hopefully that'll facilitate more updating.

On to the task at hand....

I don't know what exactly motivated it, but this week I've been going over Björk's solo discography (minus Selmasongs, but maybe I'll watch Dancer In The Dark?). According to my music journal, I haven't listened to Björk since February 7, when I listened to the song "Unravel" -- I'm pretty sure I was on a bus somewhere in France. And I haven't listened to any of her albums since August of last year, when I listened to most of them in order throughout the month (kind of like what I'm doing now). And having been a fan for a long time, I'm surprised to say that my opinions haven't changed much.

-I still don't like Post. Like, I REALLY don't like Post. There's maybe 4 really good songs on there and the rest sound kind of dated or are overlong. And "It's Oh So Quiet" is kind of terrible. It doesn't fit Björk's style at all; she's such a perculiar vocalist and she's singing a flat showtune. She can sing conventionally just fine, but she doesn't in this song, and it just sounds kind of embarrasing and corny. The album overall suffers from a lack of consistency, and it feels disjointed. It's a bad dance club record from the 90's. How could anyone say it's her best album? I just don't get it.

-On the opposite side of the spectrum, Homogenic is bloody genius. The disjointedness is totally gone; it really feels like a whole album. Every song is a winner, so second is wasted. It's only 10 songs and 40 some minutes, the perfect length for an album of this sort. Björk's vocals are the strongest and most polished of any of her albums, while still retaining her signature characteristics. The album is emotionally very rich, with aggressive songs ("5 Years" "Pluto"), a sad song ("Unravel" -- still devastating), optimism ("Alarm Call"), happiness (Jóga"), etc. It never sounds samey, boring, or dated. It demands to be heard.

-Debut is a strange case. I really like it, but I realize it has a lot of problems. It may be more disjointed than Post and it certainly covers a lot more styles, but it's so fun and Björk-ian. I don't think it sounds too dated, though when it does, it comes off as charming and nostalgic (versus on Post when it just sounds annoying and tasteless). Debut was the first Björk album I bought, so it holds a special place in my heart. There are no songs I'd skip when listening to it, but I do think the lyrics can be a bit silly. The vocals are a bit rough, but it recalls the Sugarcubes a little, when Björk was doing a more rock and roll kind of style. Special mention of "The Anchor Song," I think it's a particularly strong (closing) track. I like the imagination of it and the dissonance.

-Now I'm listening to Vespertine right now, and it is also a great record. It's just as consistent as Homogenic, though the style is very quiet and warm. It's a good album for fall or winter (i.e. - right now), while you're drinking some hot cocoa or wearing a sweater, or laying in your bed at night. It's good music to listen to in the dark. I never realized how sexy the album is. It seems like every song is about having sex or something. It's very much internal and personal. My only complaint is that it's kind of long for a pop album. I think a few of the songs, like "Undo," "It's Not Up To You," and "Heirloom" could be edited down a little. The songs aren't really sprawling or unfolding, which doesn't merit the extended times. I think they'd be more effective if they were shorter. Nonetheless, it's a beautiful record.

So I haven't gotten to Medulla or Volta yet, so there will be part 2. And I'll rank the albums overall.

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