Published Apr 01, 2008Last July, music blog Stereogum threw Radiohead a tenth anniversary celebration by gathering a number of emerging indie acts to stamp their signature on the bands seminal album, OK Computer. Titled OKX, the covers album wasnt exactly flawless though the Twilight Sads "Climbing Up the Walls was pretty damn close to topping the original but kudos to them for assembling the album song by song with artists renowned enough to create a fuss. (I suppose its unfair to completely ignore their 15th anniversary gala for R.E.M.s Automatic For the People, but really, I cant say I was a big fan )
To celebrate another ten-year-old album, Stereogum has shined the spotlight on a much lesser recognised classic, Björks far too underappreciated second effort, Post. To say the Gum outdid themselves is an understatement; quite frankly, the roster of guests theyve accumulated to contribute covers is astounding (Atlas Sound, Xiu Xiu, No Age, Liars, Final Fantasy, Dirty Projectors...). However, doing such a thing sets the bar at an impossible height to top for whatever they choose next (my nomination: either Boards of Canadas Music Has the Right to Children or Refuseds The Shape of Punk to Come).
Every artist puts their own slant on Björks whimsy pop. Liars kick it off with the militant "Army of Me, using what sounds like Nellee Hoopers original beat, slowing it down to a turtles pace and destroying it with industrial-strength noise. Dirty Projectors bring their oddball melodicising to the ultra-sensitive "Hyperballad, magnifying its poignancy. Evangelicals drone the shit out of "Youve Been Flirting Again, casting a magnificent spell on the cut with hypnotic organs. Final Fantasys Owen Pallett teams up with bud Ed Droste (Grizzly Bear) for "Possibly Maybe, transforming it into a minimal wonderland of Arthur Russell-minded twists that steal the tributes show. El Guincho injects some fun into the rather downbeat affair with "Cover Me, demonstrating his kaleidoscopic carnival of melodies and oscillations with little restraint. And Bradford Cox's Atlas Sound gently sways through "Headphones using a beautifully constructed bed of guitar strums and ambient soundscapes for a warm lull.
To top that off, as an outtake (?), No Age take on an unlikely "Its Oh So Quiet, throwing their noise-making expertise and punk rock fervour into a rollercoaster ride that hugs the transitions just as jarringly Björk herself. Its Bells predictably bombastic version that made the album, but with the magic of iTunes, youll find yourself reversing the privileges in no time, trust me.
Again, Stereogum dont shoot for the most consistent, harmonious listen, but what fans get is a well-designed tribute filled with far-out thinking by obvious fans of the music. You just know Björk herself will enjoy it at least once.
Along with the free music (yep, its on the house), which you can download in full via .zip and torrent or each track individually, the blog offers liner notes by each band, an interview with the Icelandic pixie queen, hi-res artwork and an essay by some unnamed writer. Click here to grab it all. Or, if you just wanna listen, theres the embedded player below.
you should see the stereogum.com enjoyed player here if you have flash