I cannot imagine the time in my life when I did not like Bjork. I cannot think how musically close-minded and emotionally dry I must have been for this to happen. I suppose this judgement fell into the category of “she does not sound like Ella Fitzgerald so I do not like her singing”. Which as you can imagine it used to represent a very crowded category in the imaginary playlist that my brain generated whenever I heard a new voice.
I was of course aware of the existence and the music of Bjork since my teens. I even danced to one of her tunes for the end-of-year recital of my street dance class. But being 17 and having Ella Fitzgerald as my benchmark for vocal excellence I just did not get Bjork at all.
Then in January, and I mean four months ago, I dug out of my hard drive four of Bjork’ s albums which I had been storing like hibernation supplies since my music College years. At the time when I took the CDs out of the library my thought was essentially “I am 21, surely I am old enough to understand Bjork now”. And four years later I found that I was.
The albums were Biophilia, Homogenic, Vespertine and Post (live). Bjork became the soundtrack to my bus journeys between the silence of my Oxfordshire village house and the white noise of secondary school kids’ chatter. Her music enriched my ears with a completely new soundscape of unique textures and madly beautiful lyrics. I also finally realized and learned to appreciate how deep and thoughtful an artist she is, and how multidimensional her works always are. Bjork does not just write music. Her artistic output takes the spectator on a visual, aural, emotional and intellectual discovery.
I have found I am not very good at explaining why music is good and why people should listen to it, which ironically is the whole point of these articles. So maybe I will just let you use your ears and decide for yourselves. Here is the one song that made me change my mind about Bjork.