Song of the Day #148: ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ – Bjork

bjorkMy 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.

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #148: ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ – Bjork

  1. Amy says:

    This is so familiar, but perhaps it’s just the “big band explosion” that has been used in many other songs. Without all her sceeching and screaming, she would have won me over with this song. I like her voice and the instrumentation. I could overlook the fact that I, too, know her best for her work in the Lars Von Trier film and for the hideous ensemble she wore to the Oscars.

    Still, she has to go and add just one more surprise – and shriek her way through the damn song. So, no, thank you, I’ll stay blissfully ignorant where Bjork is concerned.

  2. Dana says:

    way too pretentious for this rube. Actually, if you take out the obnoxious screaming, the song is kinda interesting. But looking at her smug face in the video makes me want to run far in the other direction.

  3. Kerrie says:

    I don’t know a lot of her music either, but there was a song from a few years back, “Army of Me” that I remember was huge one of the summers I was in Italy. I always liked its sort of industrial feel ( and I thought it was more or less what she was all about. The video is a little odd, but the song is cool.

    Your song of the day is one I actually like (I could also do without the screeching, but it doesn’t kill the song for me). I’ve never given her much attention apart from the same things you know about her, but I appreciate you including her in your list. 🙂

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