Review #289: Post, Bjork

Karla Clifton
2 min readJun 16, 2022

#289: Post, Bjork

Man, I still can’t believe Debut isn’t on this list. “Human Behaviour,” anyone? “Venus as a Boy”? “Big Time Sensuality”? Whatever.

As the RS blurb so obnoxiously puts it, this record “proved the ‘Icelandic pixie’ who’d dazzled MTV viewers fronting the Sugarcubes, was, in fact, one of the Nineties’ truly boundless musical thinkers.” As though Bjork hadn’t proved that already. WHATEVER.

Okay, done being bitter. Post produced Bjork’s biggest hit to date, “It’s Oh So Quiet,” which is a cover of Betty Hutton’s version, which is in turn a cover of Horst Winter’s “Und jetzt ist es still.” It sticks out like a sore thumb, with a big band behind her as she REALLY screams, and then dramatically SHHHHHs herself.

Bjork’s dichotomy is simple: She’s a wizard who has to “recreate the universe every morning,” and she’s also a fairy princess who “extended her mic cord to a beach so she could sing to the sea,” as per the RS blurb. Bjork is just Bjorky, beautiful and terrifying. Check out the metal-pop “Army of Me,” which bulldozed through the streets with a tank so Grimes could run in its footsteps, or the creepily industrial “Enjoy.”

You can almost hear her serenade the sea on the icy, Icelandic “The Modern Things,” a mystical song that suggests that cars have always existed. Mournful love songs “You’ve Been Flirting Again” and “Possibly Maybe” (the only remotely singable song for mortal human beings) have Bjork restrain her voice until she wants it to soar. And I fell in love with “Isobel,” a song about a woman who is in love with herself, deep inside a woodsy beat.

None of Bjork’s songs can probably called ballads, but the closest is “Hyperballad,” which is truly impossible to sing, with Bjork performing ecstatic octave leaps as she considers leaping off the edge of a cliff. I imagine what my body would sound like slamming against those rocks. You spend the whole breathless song on the precipice.

When Bjork finally clicked for me, it was a magical thing. So I loved her songs about music. “Cover Me” is dedicated to her producer Nellee Hooper, and describes the process of making an album as really dangerous, which is a fascinatingly Bjorky insight. And “Headphones” speaks for itself, embodying the life-saving properties of sound by simply playing with her voice.

My headphones/They saved my life.

See? Magical.

Most Unintentionally Creepy Song: “I Miss You.” It’s not Bjork’s fault; there’s nothing wrong with horns or accordions or Bjork’s revved-up car impression. It’s the implication of being in love with someone you don’t know.

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