Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bjork's "Medullah," John Butler's "What You Want"

Originally posted on June 16 & 18, 2008

Bjork has made some daring inroads into the rock scene over the past decade. It’s taken a while, but I am just now giving a serious listen to her 2004 Medulla release (Elektra). It is even more vocal-centered than some of her earlier work. Many of the cuts are her overtracked or with other vocalists and that’s it. Plenty don’t have much in the way of “beat.”

But hey, she’s created a unique musical universe that has an edge and what’s wrong with that? I detect some world influences, such as Eskimo Game Songs, throughout, and that’s a good thing. Cross-pollination of styles can change the face of what’s out there, sooner or later, and sometimes it seems we need to extend what we all share one way or another when vibrating the musical air, whether electronically or directly. In short, one can get sick of the same old stuff.

And what about John Butler? Here is somebody who can appeal while keeping musical levels high. He plays a very decent guitar, mostly acoustic, likes to jam a bit, writes nice songs, and sings well. His Jarrah EP What You Want shows all that in mini-abundance.

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