BBC

Greatest Hits

November 2002 sees Björk release a collection of recordings that span her solo work to date. This includes a Greatest Hits album, put together from an online vote, where fans could choose the tracks which they liked best, or which they felt best reflected her career.

This could be the only realistic way in which to measure Björk’s success, whose music is respected and adored by such a diverse range of people.

There are 15 tracks, most of which come from her four solo albums. The album begins, very appropriately, with ‘All is full of love’ : it is well nigh impossible to ignore any emotional response to Björk’s music, whose voice, lyrics and philosophy fuse with the very best of production and orchestration to create life enhancing music.

Relive the snapshots of Björk’s confessionals, quirks like throwing things off the tops of mountains, her bewilderment and admiration for potential mates and the human race in general, and her tendency to hide as self defence. The earlier tracks sound as fresh as ever, and it is surprising to realise that her earlier work is just as self assured and accomplished as the most recent album, Vespertine. The vast orchestration in context is reminiscent of her home country, and the drama in the tracks take more from programmatic classical music than pop. For instance, the opening trumpet and violins, from which emerges an Africanstyle drumbeat and dirty guitar conjures up all too well the other-world that ‘Isobel’ inhabits.

The fans picked well : this album is full of beautiful moments, like the timpani of ‘Human Behaviour’, the point at which the bass kicks in on ‘Jóga’, plus the opening harp on ‘Pagan Poetry’. A must for any fan of Björk ; even if you already own all the tracks, the choice and order of this compilation make it an essential.

Lucy Davies

publié dans BBC - 20.11.2002

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