One casualty of being obsessed with music is the jadedness that results. When there is so much solid music coming at me all day, from all different genres, it’s difficult to truly love a new song. Enjoyment is inevitable, but making an emotional connection with a song is somewhat elusive for me. Then I heard “Jóga” by Björk and I was blown away. Björk is an artist that, for some reason or another, I’ve mostly avoided. It hasn’t been for any particular reason–I just had no interest. But my introduction to Björk hit like a rock, thanks to NPR’s All Songs Considered and their Valentine’s Day Dedications show.
The story behind the dedication involved a female listener who was given a mixtape by her then-boyfriend 12 years ago. “Jóga” was the first track and it made a lasting impression on the listener. She said she “was so emotionally and physically awakened and embarrassed. It was like someone for the first time had seen my soul.”
“Jóga” is a mix between a passionate string arrangement and electronic bass grooves, with Björk’s powerful and compelling voice adding to the emotional tension. The gradual introduction of the bass and subtle beats causes a build-up until the end, when Björk’s ethereal voice fades out with a repeated phrase that seems to fade into a night sky.
Part of the reason that most songs don’t resonate with me as much I’d like them to is due to unreached expectations. If I hear there’s a new song out from a favorite band of mine, I expect perfection, causing imminent, slight disappointment in said great, but imperfect new song. “Jóga” came out of nowhere and took me to a new place. Now, of course, I’ve built it up so much that I’m now ensuring disappointment in you, the reader. But just take a listen. And I insist that you plug in headphones or use good speakers, because its effect won’t be the same on crappy laptop speakers.
Björk – “Jóga”