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Your favorite kookoo-bunny chantoosy sucks
April 19, 2007 10:12 AM   Subscribe

”Björk's album covers have always been visual feasts, reflecting the spirit of the music inside while helping to maintain Björk's status as a brilliant artist.” Artwork released for Björk’s upcoming album, Volta, was widely assumed to be the new cover. Thus, the official cover that’s been revealed has divided, dismayed, amused, or delighted fans and critics all over the place in the past couple of weeks. Pitchfork interviews Björk herself on the album-cover and more, and she talks about the making of Volta here: Part I, Part II (YouTube).
posted by hermitosis (69 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Part III (YouTube)
posted by LordSludge at 10:18 AM on April 19, 2007


Hmm... worked fine in preview. Sorry folks.
posted by hermitosis at 10:26 AM on April 19, 2007


It's really weird when someone uses one of your posts as a title for their own post!





... and frankly I'd rather analyse a plate of beans than Bjork's cover art but... hey... it's Metafilter.
posted by unSane at 10:32 AM on April 19, 2007


Gabríela Friðriksdóttir is an amazing Icelandic artist who has done a lot of cover work for Björk.

More: 1, 2, 3
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:34 AM on April 19, 2007


unSane, I've quoted that comment to people so many times, I couldn't resist.
posted by hermitosis at 10:36 AM on April 19, 2007


Matthew Barney, genius or charlatan ?
posted by matteo at 10:39 AM on April 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Your favorite kookoo-bunny chantoosy sucks

I could see the title before but not now, although it's still in the url. Weird. Whoever fixed your post untitled it too.
posted by iconomy at 10:39 AM on April 19, 2007


I don't understand how one can be dismayed by a Bjork album cover. I mean, when she serves you up a big steaming plate of crazy, can you really complain that that's not exactly what you ordered?
posted by buriednexttoyou at 10:45 AM on April 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the URL's different now too. I guess any minute the van will pull up, and the men in uniforms will toss me in a sack and drag me away.
posted by hermitosis at 10:48 AM on April 19, 2007


I liked the first one better.
posted by mai at 10:49 AM on April 19, 2007


She's mad cause I buried her mom in the front yard.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:53 AM on April 19, 2007


bjork got really boring six minutes after hyperballad
posted by four panels at 10:57 AM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sulfur's my favorite food, honey. You know that.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 10:58 AM on April 19, 2007


oh my, that is quite horrible looking, at least to me
posted by caddis at 10:59 AM on April 19, 2007


I see I'm in the minority here, but Post is one of my favorite albums ever. I am flying to New York specifically to see her in concert in a few weeks.
posted by JamesToast at 11:00 AM on April 19, 2007


I kinda preferred the first version, but this is the first time I've seen both of them and I do really like the second as well. "It's sort of trying to put out some good vibes for the little princesses out there. There are actually other things than losing a glass slipper" -- that sounds good to me!
posted by Drexen at 11:02 AM on April 19, 2007


I love Post and such. I saw Björk at Radio City and it was wonderful. However, I think she may have lost me some years back. I may pick up some of her more recent stuff to get back on the wagon, though...

Also, the thing about Matthew Barney is that he is so ragingly "meh" that even fathering Björk's child sounds almost anticlimactic. I just can't ever be happy when he does things, and I don't know why. He could cure cancer with his own cancer-curing eye lasers and I'd still just sort of shrug and point out that he looks like a tool.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:06 AM on April 19, 2007


I've always been more of a Post and Homogenic fan, but at the same time, her later work just takes time to grow on you.

At the same time, I'm happy for another party album.

And I love that cover.

And, she isn't that crazy. Everyone likes to portray her as a pixie nut job, but she simply comes off as very intelligent in most real interviews.
posted by Alex404 at 11:09 AM on April 19, 2007


Post title restored. Random blip. That's so weird.
posted by cortex at 11:18 AM on April 19, 2007


No, no.... Björk is honestly crazy. I don't know if you saw that video where she assaults a photographer in Stockholm airport, it's pretty over the top. (I don't do videos at work or I'd find it...)

On a more personal level, she's been a couple of times to a galley where I have ties. I wasn't there, but I was told by several people who were right there... that when she was in a group with someone, a stranger to her, who said something otherwise unremarkable that for some reason she didn't like, she pulled out her handbag and hit him in the face quite hard, then went on talking as if nothing had happened.

I think Vespertine is a truly great album and Björk as very talented but she might really be a nutcase.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:18 AM on April 19, 2007


Matthew Barney, genius or charlatan ?

This reminded me of walking out of Cremaster 3 halfway through at the Michigan Theater, going across the street, and buying a book.
posted by chlorus at 11:31 AM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't know if you saw that video where she assaults a photographer in Stockholm airport, it's pretty over the top.

The one where the paparazi scum was getting in her kids face? Sorry, but those guys deserve it.
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on April 19, 2007


she pulled out her handbag and hit him in the face quite hard
posted by fleetmouse at 11:42 AM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Personally I have liked each album more than its predecessor, but while I look forward to gobbling them up when they come out, each one presents a puzzle that must be pondered through and adjusted to. That's why I don't really mind being sort of baffled by the official cover; I know that by the time I get to hear the music, I won't really care-- and one day it might actually make perfect sense to me.

Medulla came out right before the Republican National Convention in NYC. I bought the album and listened to it in the park, and it seemed to swallow me up in an insular, echoey cave. It ultimately contributed to my feeling that it was perfectly okay for me to retreat from the craziness, instead of trying to participate in it like everyone seemed desperate to that week. It felt like medicine to me. Not everyone had the same experience though-- many of the Björk fans I know consider it their least favorite album.

Suffice to say I'm pretty excited to have the upcoming one to spend the summer with.
posted by hermitosis at 11:46 AM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was totally expecting a bunch of "Bjork is terrible!" comments, but I was pleasantly surprised to find very few. I guess the haters wouldn't even bother reading the comments.

I love the new album cover, as I do anything Bjork-related. My wife and I were going to fly out to NYC to see her at Radio City Music Hall, but plans fell apart. She's only on the first leg of an 18 month world tour, so I imagine she'll be back around eventually.
posted by bjork24 at 11:46 AM on April 19, 2007


Volta: Bjork becomes Bjarney.

One of the hazards of motherhood, I guess.
posted by jamjam at 11:48 AM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


She's crazy and I wouldn't have it any other way. What, like we need more Jessica Simpsons in the world?
posted by fungible at 11:49 AM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


bjork24, you probably already know this, but if it makes you feel better she's playing on SNL this weekend, so you at least have that performance to look forward to.

Having found the first single "Earth Intruders" online, I don't think we have to worry about Bjarney taking over. It reminds me a lot of her really old Sugarcubes stuff, though with more of a substantial tempest of music raging in the background.
posted by hermitosis at 12:02 PM on April 19, 2007


I meant no disrespect.

Actually, looking at the putative album cover and the final choice, I suspect she was pressured to switch because of the demonic (faces in the flames) overtones of the former, and that the latter is a an ironic dig at her label or advisors for their cowardice.
posted by jamjam at 12:12 PM on April 19, 2007


Not all of her stuff rocks me all the time, but I think she's an awesome part of the music landscape. Love cover #2, too. If she crazy, yay crazy!
posted by everichon at 12:12 PM on April 19, 2007


I think most people would take it as a compliment unsane. Hermitosis is a good guy. I'm sure he meant no disrespect.
posted by vronsky at 12:17 PM on April 19, 2007


Q: WHAT DO BILL COSBY AND FEMALE ROCK STAR BJORK SHARE IN COMMON?
posted by stenseng at 12:27 PM on April 19, 2007


"Let's make some popcorn with fuzzy backdoor paperclip soup in my crowded monkey castle."

"Oh! I am delighted! But now I am making music with only grunting and whisper. And sometimes scream."

"That could be real hot, yo."
posted by carsonb at 12:28 PM on April 19, 2007


Yay Bjork!

Most real artists I know are a bit looney, which makes them fun. What I find funny is I treat the music of Bjork and Henry Rollins like fine china, stuff only to be taken out on special occasions.
posted by The Power Nap at 12:29 PM on April 19, 2007


Stenseng: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales?
posted by Artw at 12:35 PM on April 19, 2007


WE HAVE A WINNAR.


(oh my multithreaded shame.)
posted by stenseng at 12:36 PM on April 19, 2007


Bjork is made of kittens and will heal your shame.
posted by Artw at 12:39 PM on April 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


The one where the paparazi scum was getting in her kids face? Sorry, but those guys deserve it.

Um, perhaps we saw a different video. I saw one where no reporter got within 6 feet of Bjork, and then she jumped on one who had the temerity to say, "Welcome to Stockholm," knocked her to the ground, and started pummeling her.

Generally, if you have kids around, it might not be a good idea to actually start a fist-fight in front of them -- particularly when you're in an airport and there are dozens of security guards around whose job it is to prevent this sort of thing.

While I have as much contempt for the paparazzi as the next guy, it's hardly unusual to have reporters meet a celebrity at the airport and want respectfully to ask questions. If this makes you lash out with violence, perhaps you should be in a different business.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:01 PM on April 19, 2007


On the contrary, I think instead all reporters should just wear protective helmets and gear at all times, like big game hunters.
posted by hermitosis at 1:11 PM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eh, what's this about her being crazy? Kooky, yes, but nutjob crazy...err, artists are allowed to be a little eccentric, no? Or did that stop with satire being dead and all...

I too saw the footage lupus mentioned of her in the airport. While someone using violence isn't excusable, I can understand how someone in the public eye could just flip out every once in a while, especially if their kids are around. Perhaps body guards aren't always as proactive as they should be as well. Point is, flipping out isn't nice, but neither is the constant scrutiny these people live under.

Anyway, as someone mentioned upthread, I'm not always into her stuff, but I respect her as an artist pushing her boundaries, and lord knows we could do with a lot of of those folks. Plus the new album art looks like it would be a great promotional toy ("free Bjork inside!").
posted by rmm at 1:24 PM on April 19, 2007


First album cover is funkier. The second and actual album cover looks over polished and too cutsy.
posted by bhouston at 1:45 PM on April 19, 2007


This is a good sign, the cover being so awful.... because i always hated the covers of Post, Homogenic, and Vespertine, and they turned out to be three of the best albums ever. Then came Medulla, which had a kick-ass cover and only five good songs, at most.

As for the people who call her "crazy,' eff you! You're the reason why they don't let interesting musicians on TV anymore.
posted by ELF Radio at 1:47 PM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I liked "Birthday," but not much after that, and I really tried. Björk does some neat art, and her album covers and videos are pretty cool, but I don't think her musical efforts measure up to her genius for artistic self-promotion. She's a star, but not my kind of star, and there's been plenty of great music coming out of Iceland for the past decade that proves her idiosyncratic vocal stylings to be at least in part an artifact of her native language and musical culture.

I'm not hating on her, either. I actually listen to each new album she releases, in hopes that she'll do something as good as the Sugarcubes, but it seems I'm always disappointed. Here's hoping that Volta is better.
posted by breezeway at 1:53 PM on April 19, 2007


So seriously, I was so intrigued by stenseng's mis-post about the Cosby/Bjork joke in the Gonzalez thread that I had to come here and see the punchline... wtf, stenseng?!
posted by hincandenza at 1:54 PM on April 19, 2007


I love Bjork. She's my favorite music maker.

Although I love Homogenic best. Some of her later work, to me at least, is a bit less accessable. But she still rocks so much.

To me, so much of contemporary music is just a re-hash of a re-hash. Hell, I think classical music of 200 or 300 years ago had more originality and musical inventiveness than 99.9% of the music being made right now.

Bjork, on the other hand... there's nobody else out there quite like her.
posted by MythMaker at 1:56 PM on April 19, 2007


And I agree that "crazy" is far too strong a word to use to describe her. I prefer "unique."
posted by MythMaker at 1:58 PM on April 19, 2007


This shameless fangirl says thank you for the post, with a giggle and a hair flip. I have been waiting for years for an opportunity to show Bjork my tits; unforunately the Radio City show seems to be sold out.

For those who haven't already seen it, fellow Bjorkers might be interested in this Bravo profile of Bjork, focusing on her artistic process and influences, vis a vis the making of Homogenic. It's finally made it to YouTube, if you're interested.

Anyone catch "Drawing Restraint 9"? It struck me as Bjork and Barney's version of a home porno, which is why it featured Shinto wedding gear, vaseline-filled freighters, and flensing knives instead of light bondage and naughty undies.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 2:12 PM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


As for the people who call her "crazy,' eff you! You're the reason why they don't let interesting musicians on TV anymore.

I swear, I meant "crazy" in the nicest way possible! All my favorite musicians are crazy. I'm working to foster a certain amount of creative madness in myself, actually.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 2:19 PM on April 19, 2007


With no previous exposure to Barney's work, I was incredibly captivated and frustrated by DR9. As I left the theatre I felt completely dazed and curious and, well, included in something private, if you can call a movie that features an entire whaling crew and a parade "private". So ultimately I decided that it was really amazing, and I am galled that there are no plans to release on dvd so that I can have another go.

At least I have the music from it, some of which is truly unforgettable.
posted by hermitosis at 2:23 PM on April 19, 2007


I have a front-row seat for the Chicago show in May. I am excited. Earth Intruders took about 5 seconds to get stuck in my head when I first heard it. Also, if you can, try to find the full 4.5 minute version, as the cut-down radio version that's a minute shorter isn't quite as good

Regarding the cover art for Volta: I like it. It looks like a Willy Wonka genetic-engineering experiment gone wrong.
posted by sparkletone at 2:26 PM on April 19, 2007


I love her. So much. She is weird, but I chalk it up to the fact that someone who is so balls-out, truly creative, has to be a little off-kilter with the rest of the world.

She has never released anything, post-Sugarcubes, that I have not loved.
posted by mckenney at 3:17 PM on April 19, 2007


That guy from the Sugarcubes... the one who pops in and talks/sings... I don't care much for him.
posted by bjork24 at 3:24 PM on April 19, 2007


The title is quite a propos, since Joanna Newsom is opening for Bjork on this tour. Jeff Johnson unimpressed.
posted by Flashman at 4:13 PM on April 19, 2007


Oh, Björk, Björk, were you brought by the stork?
Or were you created from butter and cork?
I love you so much that I act like a dork,
Oh Björk, Oh Björk, Oh Björk!
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:26 PM on April 19, 2007


OK, I am a shameless Björk fanboy. I loved Post, I retrospectively admired Debut, I dug Homogenic, I luxuriated in Vespertine, and I loved Medúlla like one loves a good loofah: painful yet refreshing. Also exfoliating.

I saw the first (single) cover art when I was digging for Tori tickets in France and saw a picture of "Björk goes crochet-tribal" in an advertisement for a summer rock festival in France. After checking out iTunes, I downloaded the Spike Stent Mix of "Earth Intruders" and freaking LOVED it. I've had just that one track looping endlessly in my iPod on the way to and from work for the past two days. I'm totally fascinated by the piano/xylophone patterns that trace a major chord just after the chorus, which comes with it's own interlocking patterns. Very gamelan-y, in its own way.

Anyway, this is all a long way to say that I loved the cover art for the single, but I'm also totally digging the cover for Volta. There's a part of me that adores the 90s-era vintage-wearing cutesy Björk of "Venus as a Boy." And that part of me is very happy about her dressing up as a shiny plastic extra from a Japanese children's cartoon.
posted by LMGM at 4:45 PM on April 19, 2007


Bork Bjork. Viva Nina Hagen!
posted by davy at 5:27 PM on April 19, 2007


I don't know if you saw that video where she assaults a photographer in Stockholm airport, it's pretty over the top.

This makes much more sense when you're given the information that the assault was because the photographer was taking photographs of her children expressly without her permission.

I have been waiting for years for an opportunity to show Bjork my tits

Björk has seen MY tits. Seriously.

When I lived in Iceland, Björk went to the same public pool (she lived on the ritzier side of my neighborhood) and I ran into her there one day. In the showers. Yep, I've seen Björk naked, and conversely, Björk has seen me naked.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:47 PM on April 19, 2007


Huh huh huh, “Björk”
(she’s Icelandic you know)
posted by Smedleyman at 8:06 PM on April 19, 2007


I was totally expecting a bunch of "Bjork is terrible!" comments, but I was pleasantly surprised to find very few. I guess the haters wouldn't even bother reading the comments

I was a total Bjork fan until Medulla. I couldn't stand that one. I fervently hope this next album goes back the other way, or into some crazy new territory that actually sounds good again.
posted by Foosnark at 8:18 PM on April 19, 2007


That guy from the Sugarcubes... the one who pops in and talks/sings... I don't care much for him.

I love that guy! What ever became of him, anyway? The way he practically reads the lines phonetically in "Blue Eyed Pop" always makes me chuckle, "Need I... saymore?" (I just sort of figured he didn't know english, and was handed written translations because of his bizarre delivery--correct me if I'm wrong) and his weird low harmonies really set of Bjork nicely. I like him the same way I like the crazy talking guy in the B-52's.

It's amazing to me how that record has stood the test of time. The whole thing is an organic work of art. Great guitar parts, creative drumming, really, fantastic ensemble work. I could live without the gated reverbs, but hey, it was the 80's & mistakes were made. How weird is it also, that it was produced by the former bass player of Gentle Giant?
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:33 PM on April 19, 2007


I liked Medulla. Sure. But I long for euro-pop Bjork. I an excited about this one. Her release of her back catalog in dts 5.1 just made my year.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 8:43 PM on April 19, 2007


I wish Björk could see my tits. Even if it had to happen in the frostier quarters of Iceland. I just love her that much.

Also, Lore Sjörberg is a god.

Must be the umlaut.
posted by Jilder at 8:44 PM on April 19, 2007


I was totally expecting a bunch of "Bjork is terrible!" comments, but I was pleasantly surprised to find very few.
Few? I am skimming but I don't see any. I have one and only one album, "life is good." She has talent, talent and then some more talent, yet her voice is not everyone's cup of tea.
After that album, I couldn't really bring myself to get any others although I still like, sort of because the voice puts me off, much of her later stuff. The radio will fill my neeeds I guess. So, is this a "your favorite artist sucks post?" No, I think she rocks, I just can't get past the funny vocals. They are like a mild case of fingers on the blackboard to me.
posted by caddis at 9:16 PM on April 19, 2007


Nutsack costume?
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:14 AM on April 20, 2007


You know, "ö" kinda looks like a little surprised face. Kinda like ":O", but sideways.

I... probably shouldn't post in Björk threads.
posted by LordSludge at 11:01 AM on April 20, 2007


This makes much more sense when you're given the information that the assault was because the photographer was taking photographs of her children expressly without her permission

the plight of the besieged, abused millionaire B-list celebrities is indeed heartbreaking. sadly, public figures in a public place are pretty much fair game. some countries have rules that forbids the media to publish images of minors without permission (obviously, exceptions such as images of child actors et similia are made). unless all countries adhere to the same rule (that I agree with, by the way), you'll always find a (foreign?) media outlet allowed to publish such images.

ie, mrs Gudmunsdottir should calm the fuck down. dishwashers who may have better voices than she does do not have the same problems with the media; I'm sure some of them would trade places with her. Pervasive media scrutiny is a fact of modern celebrity

at least we have a great new tagline now:

MetaFilter -- Björk has seen MY tits. Seriously.
posted by matteo at 12:58 PM on April 20, 2007


(not that I'd personally care about seeing a photo of Bjork's ugly kids, much less I'd buy a magazine to see it, but still)
posted by matteo at 12:59 PM on April 20, 2007


How weird is it also, that it was produced by the former bass player of Gentle Giant?

Not so wierd - Great guitar parts, creative drumming, really, fantastic ensemble work is a pretty good description of Gentle Giant's best stuff, too.

(Great instrumental work, rather than specifically guitar parts, though.)
posted by Grangousier at 2:55 PM on April 20, 2007


this is good
posted by vronsky at 7:57 PM on April 22, 2007


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