Review Summary: Excellently fun and energetic music from Bjork and friends.
I wonder how many people that like Bjork
’s solo albums followed her from as far back as when she was in The Sugarcubes. Actually, I’d even be curious to know how many people knew she was ever even in a band before her solo career at all. I’m willing to bet that the number of people that fall into either category is small, and probably growing smaller as The Sugarcubes fade farther into the past. That supposition is a shame because there are three albums here that show a totally different side of her; the best being this one, Stick Around For Joy
Even by this point back in 1991 Bjork’s unique vocal style was firmly solidified, and due to the music presented here, was even more outgoing and varied then on a lot of her solo albums. What’s more is that due to the amusing nature of the music and the interplay with the other vocalist, she sounds like she had a lot of fun and that feeling is easily translated to the listener. The other vocalist is a male vocalist who is used in mostly spoken word sections to contrast and accentuate Bjork’s vocals parts. His vocals are honestly a little amusing due to his cartoon-like delivery, but it fits within the context of the music fairly well.
Musically the band presents a very unique style that would make it hard to find an artist whose style is similar to this. Those that are only familiar with Bjork’s solo work will need to know that this is nothing like her current outputs; there aren’t any electronics or heavy world-music influences at all. What we do get is very upbeat and energetic music that pulls from everything from Janes Addiction
to The B52’s
and even a little bit of The Cure
circa Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
. Despite the name dropping of such diverse acts, the band manages to take those influences and combine them into one homogenous mixture instead of a hodge-podge of conflicting sounds. The vibe this creates is overwhelmingly happy and childlike in such a good way.
Seriously, the only mood that is conveyed throughout this entire album is one of childlike happiness. It is close to impossible to not feel a little bounce and a little happier while listening to this album. Songs such as “Hit” take the groovy vibe of Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing” and adds synth-horns, Bjork’s vocals, and a ten-times dose of energetic fun. Much like, “Hit”, the rest of the songs are all built around the competent rhythm section which accounts for a lot of the groove factor. The bass player consistently lays down funky bass lines that are complimented by the distinctive and busy beats of the drummer. Over the top of the solid rhythms are keyboards, handclaps, cheers, chimes, guitar riffs, and a number of other sounds which the two vocalists use to their advantage while playfully singing over it all.
I honestly hadn’t listened to this album in years before repurchasing it on a whim (and for cheap) a few weeks back, but I’m so glad I did. I had forgotten about what a fun and easy experience it is while listening to this album. Admittedly, this could be a very hard album for some to get into, even for those that love Bjork’s solo albums, due to the bouncy, child-like nature of the entire output, but it is worth the initial effort. Just keep in mind that even those going from Bjork to this could find a very significant leap to be made, but it’s a leap that is worth attempting.