On Post, Björk delivers both a more mature and more commercial performance compared to Debut two years prior. The vast production and pop styles touched on Post are breathtaking at times, mixing elements of dance, trip-hop, industrial sounds, art pop and big band all in one package. There isn’t a bad song in the lot, and the best moments are stellar.
The powerful, in-your-face synths that start “Army of Me,” set the tone for what you might expect going forward, with Björk’s soft vocal and unique lyrics mixing with booming sound effects and climaxes.
The softer “Hyperballad” follows up as one of those songs that, when I heard it the first time I thought to myself, “Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever heard something quite like this before.” The experimental and minimalistic whirling electronic production, her vocal performance and the introspective lyrics that almost glorify thoughts of self harm and conflict as a way to better appreciate the good things in a relationship all combine to make a totally one of a kind experience.
Almost every track heads in a new direction, whether it’s moving from loud electronics to minamalitic, chill tones, or transitioning from orchestral-based production to blaring horns or looping dance percussion.
However, when I put Post in context with the rest of Björk’s career, the experimentation on Post is just the tip of the iceberg of what she’ll reach in the late 90s and into the 2000s. Björk’s creative genius is just starting to show, and the steps and chances she takes later on are so much more interesting overall than what’s here in 1995, which, while great and interesting, are still pretty firmly in an accessible pop format.
And while the production and overall product is a great success, I do think Post feels disjointed and scattered. That’s partly because, as mentioned earlier, each song does have a different style to it and there isn’t one overarching sound beginning to end. In fact, I feel like Björk is really tipping her toes into the different genres she’ll further and more successfully explore later on.
While the more poppy “Oh So Quiet,” “Miss You” and “Modern Things” are all slight expansions of her previous sound on Debut, the trip-hop elements on “Army of Me,” “Enjoy” and “Possibly Maybe” feel like they could be on Post’s followup effort. Similarly, the minimalist ambient noises on “Hyperballad” and “Headphones” are reminiscent of some of the techniques she’ll use again on Vespertine, and the orchestral sounds on “You’ve Been Flirting Again” and “Isobel” can be heard countless times later in her career, especially after 2010.
All this to say, the songs on Post are good, overall it’s a high quality package from start to finish and it’s an album that goes down as a classic because of the hits it produced, what it meant for Björk’s career and musical growth. But I do think most of these songs have future counterparts that are similar and do what Björk was attempting here a little better, and the sonic consistency found on most of her future albums is honestly missed.