Thursday, June 7, 2012

Song #214 of 9999 - Human Behaviour by Björk

Song #214 of 9999 

Title: Human Behaviour
Artist: Björk
Year: 1993 
Album: Debut

I profiled Björk in post #151 while discussing her 2001 album Vespertine. By the turn of the 21st Century, Björk was no longer Björk Guðmundsdóttir the singer, but Björk the artist. I mean that as a compliment—she had elevated her work to a level well beyond pop, especially when considered in the context of her video productions. I said then and I'll reiterate that the videos are museum-quality works of art and she deserves all the accolades and prestige that has been bestowed upon her.

That said, it's a bit of a joyous retreat to retrospectively listen back to the first track from her aptly titled Debut. Here, Björk is just one year removed from her stint with The Sugarcubes and is still very interested in showcasing her other-worldly vocal talent. "Human Behaviour" is not about art, it's about play. Björk's voice breaks, growls, yodels, sighs, and barks in sympathy with Nellee Hooper's mechanized and sinister accompaniment. Still not quite comfortable with concealing her Icelandic accent, the words are lost amidst a sea of punctuation, but that makes it all the more entertaining. 

I normally don't make a case for videos—I'm here to write about the songs—but this video is worth checking out for its cartoonish stop-motion action and Björk's over-the-top gesticulating, which makes the song even more fun that I thought possible. A debut dripping with charm, "Human Behaviour" is an adorable look back at the precocious finger paintings of a future master.

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