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Oh So Björk,
This review is from: Post (Audio CD)
Back in the early '90s, when ex-Sugarcube Björk released her debut solo album "Human Behaviour", she was still the relatively mainstream pixie pin-up of the indie scene. It wasn't until Post, her second outing, that the glorious goofiness she is now known for really started to show.
As a girl in Iceland, she used to skip across the tree-less moors and make up nonsensical rhymes and music - what she is doing here is basically the same thing, but in a studio and with the help of Tricky (one of the engineers behind Massive Attack's darkly urban sound). The result is music that sounds like a cross between a Manga cartoon and an Icelandic saga. If you are scared off by her flaky persona - don't be. These tracks are more accessible than you would expect from a girl who went to the Oscar's with a stuffed swan draped around her neck. They're different, true, but not indulgently so.
On the opening track, Army of Me, Björk launches an attack against clingy lovers: "And if you complain once more, you'll meet an army of me," she promises, and goes on to plead "self-sufficiency, please!" It's a welcome contrast to all those love-struck Katie Melua-types out there. "Modern Things", with its quirky lyrics about machines taking over the world, sees Björk in full Manga mood, and standout track "Oh So Quiet" is big-band jazz gone bonkers.
The thing that intrigues me about Björk is how someone who seems so human can be so into machine-made music. Maybe it's inevitable that this oddball would want to look to the future instead of the past: if you want retro, you won't find it here. Still, Post sticks out like a sore thumb in the normally quite ethereal and outer-spacey world of dub/rhythm and bass/ dance. Where acts like Portishead are cool like polished silver, Björk sounds like an exuberant firework display of emotions. In the end, this album is all about her voice: big, riotous, squealing, groaning, whispering, giggling and weirdly sexy.
PS. Björk is Icelandic for those Scandinavian trees that look like vegetarian versions of a Dalmatian. Or at least I THINK it is.