Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Song: Hyper-Ballad
Artist: Björk
Album: Post

Sometimes I feel that when you are introduced to an artist, it’s usually that first initial impression that formulates your opinion and usually that first album, of movie, or book is your favorite. My good friend Lizzy and I had a conversation about this regarding filmmaker Wes Anderson. I believe it was at the time of the release of “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” which we both hadn’t seen, she was interested, and I was on the fence. See I was a HUGE fan of “Rushmore,” thought it was one of the smartest comedies I had seen in a long while and thought his follow up; “The Royal Tenenbaums” was good but not great. But Lizzy LOVED “Tenenbaums” and thought that “Rushmore,” which she saw after, was good but was missing something that she saw in the previous picture. Her hypothesis, given that Anderson has a very particular style and approach to his films, was that the first of his films you see is the one you’ll love and subsequent movies will leave you feeling like you wanted more. I went along with this though after seeing “Aquatic” which I though was actually bad, I haven’t seen another of his films. Oh well.

Despite going on and on about this artistic theory, I actually do NOT think this applies to Icelandic singer Björk. Actually… I’m not sure what applies to Björk because I am still not convinced the woman is 100% human. But today while I let her catalog play on my iPod I remember being a touch disappointed with her debut album when it came out. “Debut,” (haha) was released in 1993 amid the Alternative music boom in which totally avant-garde artist got record deals AND had alt. radio hits. While I really dug like half of the tracks others I did not, oh well. Despite this, when the follow up, “Post” came in 1995 I got it anyhow and was literally blown away by it. She not only seemed to re-invent herself, but she seemed to be reinventing a different genre with each song. It is my favorite of her records and still stands as one of the best records of the 90’s.

If I had to pick one song off “Post” I would certainly without hesitation pick “Hyper-Ballad,” a strange, moving track that slowly builds over the course of its five and a half minutes. It’s a love ballad, in which Björk pictures herself falling off a mountain and crashing on rocks below. She sings with such passion that while you might not connect all the dots you just FEEL what she is saying. And when the song does finally kick in, it’s nothing short of miraculous. It’s an odd comforting song to me; I find it mysterious, joyous, and just killer. And it hasn’t aged at all, despite being as electronic as it is.

I wasn’t a big fan of Björk’s last two records but REALLY love her 2001 release “Vespertine.” It’s a quiet beautiful record, nothing like “Post” but just as exhilarating in another way.


Videos from “Post”


Army of Me

It’s Oh So Quiet

Possibly my favorite music video of all time.

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