Listening to goofy, Icelandic coquette Björk’s second CD is a little like taking confession from someone whispering in tongues. Yeah, her lips are just inches from your ear, no doubt describing an Oprah-agenda of intimate secrets—but damned if the full meaning of her hushed words doesn’t lie just beyond your comprehension. Sure, that cute little accent dripping with exotic promise adds to the blissful confusion, but mostly it’s Björk’s wacky, mind-altered perspective that makes Post modern pop music at once both baffling and engaging.
Not at all like her former band, the fitfully interesting but mostly annoying Sugarcubes, but very much like her first solo effort, 1993’s cleverly named Debut, this one’s an experiment in rhythm and texture. While the Sugarcubes lurched clumsily through a tense interzone of shrill avante-gardisms and Talking Headsily eccentric pop, Björk on her own skips happily into a neighborhood where experimental and accessible dance musics peacefully coexist. Her stunningly nuanced voice coats a set of snappy beats and an adventurous electrosonic pallette, courtesy of her co-writers/producers : Soul II Soul’s Nellee Hooper, UK triphopper Tricky, and technofuehrer Graham Massey of 808 State.
Björk is an even better solitary traveller now than she was the first time out, no longer content to merely set up an ear-catching pattern of sound and let it carry her along, fading the whole thing out when the trip seemed over. Somewhere, she seems to have picked up a thing or two about song writing—namely, the sheer visceral pleasure a listener derives from a melodically resolved, well-crafted song. In simpler terms, the whole record just feels more organically grown and naturally complete. It not only sounds good while you’re listening to it, but it leaves you feeling good when it’s over, too. From the booming, martial-march techno thunder of the opening track and first single, “Army of Me” (first heard on the “Tank Girl” soundtrack), to the drift-off-into-dreamland closer of “Headphones,” Post is an excursion rewarding to both the casual consumer as well as the serious listener. Other highlights on this arrestingly eclectic collection include the achily affecting “Hyperballad,” the jazz-kitsch incendiary “Blow A Fuse,” and the hazily scratchy “Possibly Maybe.”
Now, if I could only figure out what she was going on about, maybe I wouldn’t need a guidebook to tell me where I am....