Friday, June 4, 2010

I'd Love to Turn You On #10: Bjork - Post

Welcome to Twist & Shout’s “I’d Love To Turn You On” a fortnightly column by our deeply knowledgeable staff of hardcore collectors and music lovers who want to spend some time turning you on to some of their favorite releases of yore; titles that may have slipped out of the public favor, or perhaps never quite found the audience they deserve. Dig in to some terrific musical esoterica and enjoy the sounds.

Few artists within the last 20 years have been able to change the landscape of the pop genre as dramatically as Bjork. Throughout the 90's and 2000's Bjork's simplistically deep lyrics, her raw vocals and the artistic willingness to experiment with a plethora of musical styles have made her one of the most unique and memorable musical artists around.

Post is arguably the most important album in this Icelandic diva's discography. The album before Post, Debut, was centered on making a new beginning as she moved to England. Post focused more on the adventure after establishing one’s self, and the infinite possibility that she faced as an artist and a woman in a new land. The album is full of lyrics of possibility and the unknown future, illustrated in songs like “Possibly Maybe,” or “Enjoy,” a song about falling in love with someone who she had never met nor seen before.

Post collects influences from many genres and includes artists/producers Nellee Hooper, Graham Massey, Tricky, Howie B, and Marius de Vries. The musical styles range from electronic tribal rhythms mixed with various horns to Big Band, Industrial, Trip Hop and epic soundtrack-esque pieces, all peppered in appropriately to illustrate the scattered emotions of her life at the time.

The album did more than well when released on June 13th, 1995 (15 years ago this month!). Rolling Stone gave the album four stars and stated, "when Post comes to an end, it feels like getting back from a good vacation: the last thing you want to do is re-enter the real world." The album went on to go platinum in five different countries and also spawned a remix album, Telegram, the following year.

Most of the album is stitched carefully together with smooth and unique production that seems to hold in an almost overwhelming, maddening happiness that threatens to burst free from the seams, and it does in tracks like "It's Oh So Quiet" and "Possibly Maybe" where the vocally raw and wild Bjork sets free all of her emotions and happiness at an unwritten future. The depth in Post is vast and the variety of styles draws a clear picture of Bjork's personality at the time and her struggles with music and relationships. "Hyperballad," while inspired by a dream, illustrates the need to destroy things in order to be happy about what one may have. This track is a great example of her uncertainty and perhaps misgivings in relationships. In "Cover Me" she sings "While I crawl into the unknown, cover me...I'm going to prove the impossible really exists." This track was written as a thank you to Nellee Hooper for helping produce the album, and a clear statement of her uncertainty, yet fearlessness to musically explore new horizons.

Post was considered by Bjork to be the “looking” album, and the following album, Homogenic, is what she had “found.” While Homogenic is also an undeniably incredible album, it's the endless possibility and love for the unknown presented in this album that has made Post a necessary listen for any music fan with eclectic tastes or anyone going though a lot of change and experiencing new things. Her ability to meld tons of musical styles, and match them with similar emotion has made Post an unforgettable album and has continued throughout her entire career. The musical variety and raw emotions in Post reflect most of her career and also make the album a great starting point for anyone new to Bjork. Take a listen!


No comments: