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March 26, 2007

Until the Desired Constellation Appears

Over at Wax Banks, Walter Holland writes: "Bjork's mostly a capella album Medúlla isn't consistently enjoyable, to me; I find the most outré vocal styles unbearable, and feel unable to judge its worth as avant garde art because I (frankly) can't make it through the damn thing."

Well, fair enough -- me neither (though I don't think of Bjork as being especially avant garde, which in music I tend to associate with the kind of composition that involves the amplified sound of a trombone being cut up with a hacksaw). Still, I'd also concur with his enthusiasm for one cut on Medúlla, "an infectious bit of skittering yearning out-on-the-savannah dance-pop called 'Who Is It,'" which Holland goes on to describe in loving detail.

But while much of the album leaves me cold, I think there's a lot to say for her rather sublime "Desired Constellation." (If only I had the vocabulary and command of the Dial M folks to discuss it.)

I don't know that it was written as a protest song of the traditional sort, but the lyrics sure don't rule out that possibility:

It's tricky when
You feel someone
Has done something
On your behalf.
It's slippery when
Your sense of justice
Murmurs underneath
And is asking you:
How am I going to make it right?

In some ways I like this live performance of the song even more than the version on the album:

Posted by smclemee at March 26, 2007 11:24 AM