Bjork, Post !FREE! Full Album Zipl
Björk released her previous studio album Debut in 1993. At that time, she had moved to London. The production of Debut was "long and laborious", as Björk sought to fully realise her compositional ideas from the past. After its release, she was free to concentrate on her present life for new musical clues for her following album. She contacted producer Nellee Hooper who had worked with her on her previous album. He refused initially, encouraging her to produce the album herself, but agreed when she insisted. However, Björk agreed to co-produce along with other enlisted producers; "to make it stay fresh, she had to think about other people being involved". With Hooper's confirmation, Björk commenced work on the album in late 1994 at the Compass Point Studios in Nassau. The picturesque locale inspired Björk to meld the recording process with the exotic natural environment. Biographer Mark Pytlik writes: "The tales surrounding these recording sessions are appropriately evocative". For example, Rolling Stone wrote that for her vocals: "Björk extended her mic cord to a beach so she could sing to the sea". Additionally, the first version of "Cover Me" was recorded entirely from a nearby cave.
Bjork, Post Full Album Zipl
The album opens with "Army of Me", an aggressive song with industrial rock, and trip hop influences. It incorporates a looped drum sample of Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks". Dedicated to Björk's younger brother, the song's lyrics are, according to Björk herself, "about telling someone who is full of self-pity and doesn't have anything together to get a life and stand up"; as she sings: "And if you complain once more/You'll meet an army of me!" "Hyperballad", which incorporates a spectrum of electronic and orchestral styles, has been described as "a love song penned by Aphex Twin". NME wrote that its music "altered from gentle folktronica to drum and bass-tinted acid house"; an attempt to reflect the song's lyrics, which are about "the art of not forgetting about yourself". In them, Björk describes living at the top of a mountain and going to a cliff at sunrise. She throws objects off the cliff while pondering her own suicide. The ritual allows her to exorcise darker thoughts and return to her partner. The track is followed by "The Modern Things", a song that, in a magical realist tone, "playfully posits the theory that technology has always existed, waiting in mountains for humans to catch up". Interview described it in 1995 as a "spooky tune", noting "the odd scratchings at the end" of the track. In a startling shift in style, the big band track "It's Oh So Quiet" covers a German composition made famous by Betty Hutton. It has been described as "a palate-cleanser during the course of the record". Björk included the song "just to make it absolutely certain that the album would be as schizophrenic as possible, that every song would be a shock".
"Possibly Maybe" is an ambient dub track that fuses trip-hop and chill-out music. Björk has said that it was the first unhappy song she wrote, stating in 1997: "That was very hard for me. [...] I was ashamed writing a song that was not giving hope". Its lyrics document the various stages of Björk's ill-fated relationship with Stéphane Sednaoui. With the track, De Vries "create[d] a vinyl-crackling ambience, full of glissando strings and leaden, muted bass. The slide guitar heard in the background of the song was originally intended to be its focal point, as Björk initially strived for an "ambient country" sound inspired by Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game". "I Miss You" was described in 1997 as an "amalgam of styles, with electronic drums melding into African bongos mixed with jazzy horn playing". A house music number, its "horn-infused Afro-Cuban strains [...] reflect the romantic whimsy of [its] lyrics". Björk wrote "Cover Me", one of the quieter moments on the album, to her co-producer Nellee Hooper after he agreed to participate in the making of Post. She has said: "I guess I was trying to make fun of myself, how dangerous I manage sometimes to make album making. And trying to lure him into it. But it is also a admiration thing from me to him". The album ends with the experimental "Headphones", an ambient track. Featuring "just-for-headphones studio tricks", it has been described as "a chiming, somnolent dip into Björk's heavy-lidded pre-dream state". Its lyrics were written as a thank you to Graham Massey, who would make compilation cassettes for Björk. She also stated: "But, of course, it is also a love letter to sound. The sound of sound. Resonances, frequencies, silences and such... a music-worship thing".
Upon its release, Post received universal acclaim from music critics. Lorraine Ali of Rolling Stone praised the album for differentiating from the alternative rock offerings of the early 1990s, and for successfully merging disparate styles. She concluded: "When Post comes to an end, it feels like getting back from a good vacation: the last thing you want to do is re-enter the real world". Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Jim Farber stated that despite Post's "bizarre" combination of diverse genres, the conviction of Björk's delivery and assuring hooks "[made] her most surreal passages as relatable as moon-June standards". He felt that Björk "[reinvented] that tradition, constructing standards for the cyber age".
Joy Press, who reviewed the album for The New York Times, praised the album for not being a "play-safe sequel" to Debut, pointing out that Björk, "[had] followed her most wonderfully wayward impulses". Los Angeles Times critic Richard Cromelin felt that Post was "an often heady mix of trendiness and nostalgia" that was capable of transcending Björk's self-consciousness. Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune found the album's backing tracks to be "even more varied and unusual" than on Debut, describing Björk as "an extra-terrestrial voice rummaging around in a sonic toybox". Spin's Barry Walters felt the album was an improvement over its predecessor, stating its songs were "stronger, more developed, and less reliant on Björk's wide-eyed delivery". He concluded that: "After years of (no) alternative fascist grunge domination, it's heartening that Björk and producer-co-songwriter Nellee Hooper stayed true to themselves and created another highly personal album that has a chance of interrupting the airwave flow of whiny rockers with little imagination".
Nick Coleman of The Independent considered Post to be an important release of the art pop genre, Retrospectively, Slant Magazine's Eric Henderson argued that Post "will likely always remain the Björk album that most successfully sustains her winning balance of experimental whimsy and solid pop magic", while Heather Phares of AllMusic wrote that the record was "not simply Debut redux" and concluded: "The work of a constantly changing artist, Post proves that as Björk moves toward more ambitious, complex music, she always surpasses herself". Celebrating the album's 20th anniversary, the British magazine NME described it as, "a masterful matching of hard, up-to-the-minute beats with complex, personal lyrics about the rush and rage of being a modern urban woman". American writer Tom Moon included Post in his 2008 reference book 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die.
"Heirloom" was based on an existing instrumental track from electronic musician Console's album Rocket in the Pocket (1998), titled "Crabcraft" (which itself samples Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's "Sacred Heart"). Björk contacted Console in early 2000 and they met in London; she then added her vocals on top. "Undo" was written during a two-week session with Knak that January in Reykjavík. Björk recorded her vocals on top of Knak's minimalist rhythmic backbone, and months later she had added a full choir and string section. "Cocoon", also produced by Knak, was one of the last songs to be written for the album; its melody came to Björk in a sudden rush and she contacted him. Knak took it as a chance to make a more minimal track, similar to his own releases. His original treatment of "Cocoon", made with an Ensoniq ASR-10, appeared relatively intact in the final version. Björk also worked with Bogdan Raczynski on the song "Who Is It", but the track did not follow the direction of the record and was subsequently included on the album Medúlla.
Björk has stated that she wanted the album to sound like "modern chamber music", referring to the times where "the most ideal music situation was in the home, where people would play harps for each other". She argued that with the popularity of festivals like Woodstock, the situation became "the opposite", and that with the advent of Napster, the Internet, music downloading and DVD, "we've come full circle and the most ideal musical situation now, [...] is back to the home". She also considers Vespertine to be the opposite of her previous studio album Homogenic, the former being an introverted, quiet, winter record; the latter a loud, dramatic, summer record. Writer and critic Mark Pytlik writes, "Her appetite for thumping techno had been, temporarily at least, subsumed by a desire for stark melodies and minimalist production".
The album opens with "Hidden Place", which features a soprano section and strings, "over the top of a warm, intimate melody". Michael Hubbard of musicOMH felt the track was reminiscent of Homogenic's "Hunter", but less focused on the beats. NME called it progressive folk, while Drowned in Sound wrote it was electro. Björk sings about "how two people can create a paradise just by uniting", as she intones: "I'm so close to tears/And so close to/Simply calling you up/And simply suggesting/We go to that hidden place". "Cocoon" is "based around an exploratory bassline and beats that sound like fingertips on skin". Discussing the glitch nature of the track, Björk said, "when you take technology and use the areas where it breaks, where it's faulty, you're entering a mystery zone where you can't control it". Lyrically revolving around making love, the song alternates between metaphors like "Who would have known/That a boy like him/Would have entered me lightly/Restoring my blisses", and explicit lines such as "He slides inside/Half awake, half asleep" and "Gorgeousness/He's still inside me". According to Michael Cragg of The Guardian, the song "best represents the album's sense of heavy-lidded, post-coital hibernation". Björk sings a breathy, "whispered, near-cracking falsetto" on the track. 350c69d7ab