Venus As A Boy
Ever since the band The Sugarcubes split, and she began her solo career in 1993, Icelandic singer, songwriter, and actress Bjork has divided peoples’ views about her, and her music. To say that she is hard to define or categorise, would be an understatement. She has covered almost every musical genre, and invented a few of her own along the way. Her persona has swung from appealingly cute, to outright irritating, with a fair portion of pretentiousness in there too. Even her most ardent detractors would have to admit she has talent, whether they like the result, or not.
Her vocal range stretches from a throaty roar, up to a glass-shattering shriek, and her image fluctuates accordingly, from endearing gamine, to completely bizarre. She is a show-woman, of that there is no doubt, adding theatrical elements to her concerts, and dressing in an eclectic range of outfits. Her Icelandic heritage appears on occasion, but she is very much an international music star, with a legion of avid followers. Her adventures in acting have shown that she has talent in that area too, so I am left wondering if there is anything that she cannot turn her hand to.
She shies away from nothing. Her songs have included big-band arrangements, unusual instruments, electronic music, and she has even recorded political songs, to support various causes. She is still working hard to this day, and also embraces Internet technology, with music apps, and has participated in musical art installations. There really is nobody quite like her. Singing in English, she has a delightful accent, which is both familiar and strange at the same time. Hard to explain.
I decided years ago that I didn’t like her very much. I had no reason for this, except that I found some of her music grating, and I was also irritated by some of her videos to promote the songs. However, she kept getting awards, and the industry obviously though that she was doing something right. So, I did something that I rarely do. I gave her another chance, and listened again to her first solo release, ‘Debut’. It contains this track, which I have listened to many times since. See what you think.
It changed my mind.