Review by: Andreas Georgi
Album assigned by: Dinar Khayrutdinov
This is Björk’s “jazz album”, released in 1990, when she was still in the Sugarcubes. On this album she is accompanied by an Icelandic jazz trio. All the songs, but one, “Ruby Baby” (on the version I heard) are sung in Icelandic, making this the best jazz album sung in Icelandic (but also the worst) I have ever heard.
Unfortunately this album has a number of weak points. First of all, while the trio is certainly quite competent and plays the music well enough, the music is honestly pretty much generic lounge music. There is not a lot to keep my interest. As far as Björk’s singing goes, she doesn’t vary much from her usual singing style, and fans of hers will certainly like it. There are a couple of songs which sound like children’s songs, like the title track (“gling-gló” evidently is “ding-dong” in Icelandic), and these are the ones i like the best, actually. To my ears, unfortunately, she is not really in her element here. Björk is a really unique singer and highly creative artist. On this album, by trying to fit into this lounge jazz setting, I find that she dampens the very things that make her singing interesting, both in the Sugarcubes and on her subsequent solo career. Subsequent to this she would embark on a solo career & would make a number of daring & experimental albums, which I personally find much more interesting than this one. Now if she were to do a project with more experimental jazz musicians, that might be a better opportunity to showcase her talents.
So in a nutshell, I think serious Björk fans will appreciate this album, but for me it’s not more than a curiosity. It’s certainly not a bad album in any way, but it just doesn’t really grab my attention.