My knowledge of Bjork pretty much boils down to weird squeaky voice, freaky videos, critically-acclaimed performance in depressing musical by Lars Von Trier and wearing a dead goose to the Oscars.
I know her albums are beloved by music snobs, and as something of a music snob myself I should probably pay her more attention. But, though I’ve never really listened to her songs, I feel like I know what they’re like… and what I think I know they’re like is something I don’t particularly care for. Very dramatic but very sparse, not particularly melodic and not particularly fun.
The song I happened upon while looking her up for this blog entry is ‘It’s Oh So Quiet,’ and it doesn’t really fit those preconceptions — except for the ‘dramatic’ part.
The song has split-personality disorder by design, with the music mirroring the lyrics. It’s about the rush of new romance and the lull following romance’s end. I’m a sucker for the circus-like instrumentation of the verses (Elvis Costello and Jon Brion have put a similar sound to wonderful use) and the big band explosion of the choruses is a giddy surprise.
This isn’t what I expected from Bjork, though the truth is I’m betting this isn’t typical of the rest of her work either. There I go… holding onto prejudices despite the evidence. I’ll have to give her another chance to continue proving me wrong.