The Björk Rate: Complete. | Page 97 | The Popjustice Forum

The Björk Rate: Complete.

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Animalia, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. We're 100% sure she was talking about Cocoon here?

    Never been too big on it. When people cite Medulla as being the moment she said goodbye to melody and structure and hello to pretension it's the only time I ever think of Cocoon.

    Disclaimer: I wasn't one of the lowest scorers before my impeccable taste is questioned.
    Booers likes this.
  2. R.I.P. Cocoon!

    Black Lake can go soon. It's very good but not up to the standard of everything else remaining.
  3. 2 massive losses there!

    Hadn't heard the Kelis version of Oceania before, or seen the Olympic performance, but Oceania still got a 10 from me. Those lyrics are breathtaking. For some reason the way she sings "Every pearl is a lynx" always stands out to me. I randomly just sing that line to myself all the time, which I find super weird as a line that springs to mind.

    After not seeing my name tagged in the Cocoon post, I went to check and realised I only gave it a 9! I actually had a bit of a moment with it yesterday, and I'm gutted I didn't give it the 10 I feel it deserves. "Gorgeousness" indeed.
    LE0Night likes this.
  4. (Psst anyone who wants to hear the Kelis version of Oceania PM me)
    LE0Night likes this.
  5. I know I slightly missed the boat on posting top 10s, but here's mine if anyone's interested (in album order)

    Play Dead
    Army Of Me
    I Miss You
    It's Not Up To You
    Pagan Poetry

    Man, that was harder to whittle down than I thought it was going to be. So many of my 10s are left (*humble brag*)
  6. I just discovered Björk covered You Only Love Twice for David Arnold's Shaken & Stirred project but they didn't include it. According to Wiki it's available for free on Bjö but I can't find it. Any pointers from fans here?
  7. Y'all are too kind! I'm having a blast doing this, I'm just so glad you guys are enjoying it too!

    I'm aware that the pacing has been a bit slow and inconsistent and I can only apologise, but at some point I had to make the choice between quantity and quality* and my heart told me that Björk deserves a proper celebration.

    * I have no idea how the hell RJF, Laura, P'Nut, etc. make both look so effortless. I suspect witchcraft.
  8. I feel bad doing this now.

    I'm sorry, @clockworknovak. We tried.


    #26 – Who Is It (8.50)

    Highest: 10 x11 (@A&E, @ManilaChinchila, @Kuhleezi, @Txetxu, @clockworknovak, @vikeyeol, @Andy French, @Petty Mayonnaise, @Remorque, @strangekin, @Animalia)
    Lowest: 4.5 x1 (@etienne)

    Released October 18th 2004 with the full title “Who Is It (Carry My Joy On The Left, Carry My Pain On The Right)”, Medúlla’s true lead single bows out gracefully at #26. Which on one hand is a wee shame, but on the other very appropriate, as matches its peak on the UK singles chart. Who Is It, despite being released two months after the album, managed to peak at #26, earning Björk her highest chart placement since Possibly Maybe in 1996.

    Who Is It started life as a collaboration with Polish “braindance” artist Bogdan Raczynski, recorded as early as 2000, but he apparently refused to make the song public, saying "It was a beautiful thing we did together, but for that reason alone it should be left in the clouds. People need mystery and romance." Well, yes, but we also need songs, Bogdan. I mean, I’m no expert, but that seems like a pretty questionable marketing strategy to me. Although this version did eventually see a vinyl release in 2005, Björk had already taken it upon herself to re-write and produce the song herself towards the end of the Vespertine sessions. Feeling like it belonged to a different family than the shy, introverted Vespertine, Who Is It was once again left unreleased before finally finding a home on Medúlla. And lemme just say – thank god.

    Sandwiched between two of the most polarising, challenging tracks on the album, Who Is It is the glorious, celebratory centrepiece of Medúlla. Amongst all the dark, brooding humming and gurgling, it’s a moment of pure, unbridled joy that leaps out and grabs you by the throat, forcing you to dance and sing along. This might be because it’s one of the only songs on the album to feature non-vocal instrumentation (bass synthesisers are present throughout) and our subconscious is immediately drawn to those familiar pop sounds, but to be honest I think it’s just ‘cause it’s a fucking fantastic little song. It’s easily the most “pop” song on the album, remarkably straightforward when compared to its peers, but not in a way that renders it basic or unnecessary. Even lyrically, it’s a good old fashioned ode to those classic songwriting staples, love and trust – but they’re twisted into a philosophical quandary about self-worth and dependence, asking who you know you can rely on to give you the happiness you deserve. And there’s also something about ornaments? I won’t pretend to understand. But therein lies the beauty of it; I don’t need to understand every little nuance because the song itself is packaged in such a monumental, exultant production. It’s just beautiful.

    The music video for Who Is It was directed by Dawn Shadforth, whom we can also thank for Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Charli XCX’s You’re The One, Goldfrapp’s Ooh La La and Geri Halliwell’s Bag It Up. The video uses a different edit of the song than the one on the album, with the musical stylings of the Bústaðakirkja Bell Choir (thank you copy/paste) replacing most of the album’s signature vocal manipulation. I do enjoy the video edit, especially Björk’s classic caterwauling over the second chorus, but I’ve always found it a tad messy in parts and I tend to use the album version more frequently. BUT, the video itself is cute as heck. It’s basically just Björk jumping and dancing around in an Alexander McQueen dress made entirely from tiny silver bells, but she looks like she’s having the time of her life and it really just makes me laugh and smile. The video was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2004 Icelandic Music Awards, but lost. To Oceania though, so we can’t really complain.

    One Stop Candy Shop calls it “possibly her poppiest song from the 21st century”, and it’s actually pretty insane that they’re totally right. Not to be that guy, but I hope the new album sees Björk reconnect with her classic pop sensibilities. Who Is It is proof that it can be done without sacrificing her growing artistry. Unfortunately, it’s not quite enough for a few of you, as Can’t Speak French admits. “Medulla is really helping me to appreciate how much I need a hook of some sort to get me into a song, be it lyrical or musical or emotional or something. It’s an interesting technical listen and I appreciate it, but I’m just so cold on it and there’s never any danger of me wanting to put it on repeat and I feel really bad about it.” Ray feels the need to defend themselves, too. “It's not that I only appreciate her pop side (which is present here) and give everything a 10 when it sounds like a pop song. This is difficult to listen to even though it pretends to be a song.” I’m crossing you two of my list of people who never let me down.

    AllGagaLike has a bone to pick with it, too. “It's good, very good actually, I just wish there was more after the second chorus. A minute-long beatboxing outro feels slightly underwhelming.” I know I gave it a 10, but I do kind of agree. The single mix almost fixes that issue, but it offers up different ones in its stead – Txetxu gets it. “Adored the album version to pieces and begged for it to be a single back in the day. Then, she unleashed the monstrosity that is the Single Mix killing the main melody of the song. You know what I do adore to pieces about this song? Those little sounds that emulate a flute right at the end of it. Sweet.” The whole thing is almost sickly sweet, but it works perfectly in contrast with the songs around it – hell, even Booers gave it a 9.5, calling it “such a saving grace on this awful album”. “So bloody catchy!!” P’NutButter yells as they twirl around the room (I imagine), while constantino shows one-take-wonder Rahzel some much deserved love. “I love beatboxing in general, and it works particularly well with Bjork’s style. I get it, Bjorkie, I get it…”. Push thinks it’s “probably the most accessible song here, but one of the best too”, and to end, ephemeralartery just straight-up dubs it “the best song on Medulla.” But alas, that PJ honour does not belong to Who Is It… hmmmm.

    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  9. A&E


  10. LTG


    The Voltaïc performance shows how much of a bop it is. If Medúlla had more conventional production, this would be considered much more favourably.

    Decent 8.5 rating there though.
    LE0Night and Animalia like this.
  11. Oh, I didn't realize we were into the top 10 already.
    LE0Night, Ray, Animalia and 1 other person like this.
  12. I hope hitting 8+ averages at #37 was some kind of rate record, teebs.
  13. "Who Is It" is gorgeous. Very pleased it lasted this far, would put in my top 20 personally.

    Also want to pipe up and say how great the commentary has been Animalia. The "Cocoon" write up particularly was a thing of beauty!
    LE0Night and Animalia like this.
  14. Goddamnit. 'Who Is It' holds the distinction of containing lyrics for my next Björk tattoo, so you can imagine how I'm feeling right now!
  15. If ever I went on a revamped Stars In Their Eyes, I'd go as Björk and sing 'Who Is It'.

    and @Animalia you are seriously doing an incredible job, when I've ran rates I normally type everything up on a notepad doc before hand - so when the results come around I just copy + paste onto here! ha
    LE0Night and Animalia like this.
  16. Wait, what do you have already!?

    Aw thanks! Hah, I planned to have a lot more of the writing up done beforehand but I was thrown off by the queue shifting around and the rate starting two months earlier than it was supposed to!
    LE0Night and P'NutButter like this.
  17. The vegvísir of course!
  18. Ooooooooh I'm jealous!

    This one is adorable:

  19. I'm screaming
  20. It was available when the glorious old site was still up but now it's gone forever.

    The old Bjö was the best site ever, fun and encyclopedic. It was a sad day for the fandom when it went offline definitively last year. You can still experience it partially through but a lot of stuff is not accessible anymore.
    LE0Night likes this.
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