Björk: Live in Cambridge (2001)

I first saw this live Björk performance on MuchMoreMusic in the early aughts, having little knowledge of her as a singer or performer, and while I couldn’t quite “get” the beat of any of her songs here, I was fascinated nevertheless. Thus began a multi-year Björk obsession that can be traced back to the fascinating artistry on display here: Recorded live in 1998 during her “Homogenic” tour, this performance features Björk at her then-Björkiest, belting out her chaotic, multi-instrument experimental pop songs from the depths of her soul with an urgency and power that’s both unmistakable and inimitable. Already-classic early tracks from her solo career like “Human Behaviour” and “Play Dead” are given orchestral revamps via the Icelandic String Octet and DJ Mark Bell that add new layers to the songs, but the real stars of the show are the songs from “Homogenic,” her grand, boundary-pushing 1997 record that provides a number of downright operatic, almost viscerally powerful moments, like “Bachelorette” and the show-stopping closer, “”Jóga.”

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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