April 20, 2006

My music album to take to the Neverland (or whateverland)

4 out of 5 stars
As I am gradually approaching Australia, the chances of me visiting those mysterious pacific little islands are drastically increasing. Therefore it is worth to give it a good think of what should I take with me to there. The principle is – the less the better, less in a ubiquitous sense, not just as lighter or less quantity. For example, an ipod is less than a bunch of CDs and a disk-man. It is nevertheless unqualified because it stores a lot more songs than that I am willing to carry with the same amount of CDs, also it takes a lot more time to consume. So I am making myself to think of one album that I wish to take with me and that will do the job for the music part. It wasn’t too much of a dilemma. I will take Bjork’s first album Debut with me. I enjoyed a lot of music, from the punky Pixies to trip-hop to the cheesiest Chinese music in the world. Music carries memories and put forward dreams, so much so that sometimes it doesn’t matters too much with what form they are presented. For example Faye Wong’s songs have definitely borrowed a lot of elements you can name from other people, and they are not half as clever and sophisticated as Schoenberg’s masterpieces. I nonetheless like them mostly because they reminded me a lot people I encountered in a certain time. They are rich in the information of personal memories. While going to an island that brings about the possibility of isolation, my consideration of music is primarily on its richness – in a broad memorial sense, in the challenge of the ear, in distortion of the conventions, in reminder of the mundane-ness of the humanely world, in wisdom, in insights, in sarcasm, etc. etc. All that, I think, are embedded in this Bjork album. It carries a strong scent of the early 90s – a full series of bands at that time can be sensed in the composition of the music. It can be dance music, full of pleasing rhythms. But it is no less than any other Bjork albums in the distortion of conventions. If taking successfully adapting to Bjork’s way of singing, the lyrics are very insightful. It is one of the albums that even you only get to listen to music once in a while when you are too busy for the landscapes you still feel it worth the time spending. It is also one of the albums if unfortunately enough you have nothing to do but listen to music to spend your time, you can hardly get tired of it, because it keeps bringing up memories but nevertheless challenges your ear. I may not like it as much as I like Belle and Sebastian, not as provoked as when I listen to Chopin’s, not being disturbed as much as when I listen to Aphix Twin, not as stimulated as when I listen to someone else’s, but I think it’s the only choice for the Neverland – a mixture of mundane human music but the alienated version.

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