This week’s song of the week is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary of existence, it’s Björk’s crushing Army of Me, lead single from 1995’s Post.
Often heralded as her best album, Post shows Björk at her creative peak, successfully melding aesthetics from across the electronic spectrum (and big band in some cases). Army of Me, opening that album, is violent statement, with the artist flexing aggression both instrumentally and vocally.
Opening with massive, mechanised beats that pummel throughout the track, the industrial influence on the instrumentation is immediately apparent; it all has a Matrix-esque sense of smoggy, apocalyptic futurism about it. The grimey synth arpeggios that slither around the booming mix only serve to reinforce this, as the track chugs along not unlike her death rig in the video.
Over this, Björk sounds more authorative than she ever has on a track, to this day I’d argue. The lyrics aren’t poetry or yearning or abstract, they’re direct orders. She delivers them, yes, in a typically dreamy, airy style, but it’s hard to deny the strength and threat in her voice when she reaches those lower registers.
Despite the ever-shifting mood of Post, you can always agree on one thing; the conviction. To have this track at the start is a powerful example of this.