The Secret Life Of Pop Stars

Newsweek, 10 septembre 2001

Björk, Iceland’s quirky queen, gets intimate

Björk’s new album “Vespertine” takes its name from the botanical term for night-blooming flowers. It’s fitting for an artist who seems to change her roles nightly—from actor to dancer to singer. The Icelandic pop star’s phenomenal voice can swing with big-band orchestras or bounce with street-smart DJs. The one common thread among all her flights of fancy : a sense of wonder. She thrives on fairy-tale imagery, foraging the depths of crushed hope for one remaining shred of naive optimism.

On “Vespertine,” she combines delicate choral arrangements, harp, music box and strings with computer- generated static and metallic clinks and clanks. On one song she even uses the sampled crunch of footsteps in snow for rhythm. It’s also her most intimate album to date. She professes her love for a boy with “magical sensitivity” in skyscraping croons and private, under-the-covers whispers. Later, she decides she must keep her deep feelings in a “hidden place,” but eventually busts out with the defiant mantra “I love him. I love him.” Björk also grapples with a world that is far less enchanting than her Technicolor imagination. “How do I master the perfect day ? Six glasses of water, seven phone calls ? If you leave it alone, it might just happen anyway.” While many world-weary artists have stopped hoping for that day and now sing of the fallout, Björk happily searches for that perfect bloom.

publié dans Newsweek