Carrying on a love affair with the Great Elfkin herself, Bjork, is a mighty endeavor. New bootlegs (Bootsylegs?), remixes, box sets, and DVDs constantly surface, driving a (rubber) fan to the brink of bankruptcy. What is it about a grown woman who wears giant swan dresses and makes videos dancing with mailboxes and oversized teddy bears that is so damn enjoyable?
Can Bjork be said to have the fjunk?
Starting in late May, www.bjork.com hosted a web poll for avid fans to gush their ooey-gooey love by picking the Bjork songs that best narrated the story of her solo career, even if not bonafied hits. The product: Bjork’s Greatest Hits, a mishmash of songs from Debut (1993), Post (1995), Homogenic (1997) and the critically-acclaimed Vespertine (2001). Indeed, one finds milestones like the thumping “Human Behavior” (Debut) and the industrial clangs of “Army of Me” (Post). Tacked along are darlings like “Pagan Poetry” (Vespertine) and “J—ga” (Homogenic) that so gracefully meld the avalanche of experimental beats and classical instruments through which she howls, “emotional landscape, they puzzle me.” She does not howl, “We want the funk, give up the funk,” but, deep down inside, she means to, which is nearly as good.
The album is not meant as reminiscences on a dwindling career, nor as a psychoticbumpschool, but rather as a comprehensive slate-cleaning after Vespertine. With it neatly tucked under her downy feathers, Bjork Gudmundsdottir (we’ll stick with Bjork) offers Greatest Hits as a sort of “thus far” before spreading her wings in preparation to take flight and let the unrequited affair spark again.
[Jessica Jardine is pronounced Yes-sica Yar-dine… duh.]