The Taranna Was Hot Series: Part 10/25
I like Björk. And when I saw this one in the 3-for-$10 bin at BMV, it was a sure shot to my collection so fast I’m pretty sure the planet shifted slightly in my rush.
And that was me not even knowing anything about it. Who was the Trió Gudmundar Ingólfssonar? What the heck is a Gling-Gló?
Google translate tells me that Gling means ‘conference’ in Icelandic. And Glo… means ‘glo.’ So, um… maybe it’s a slang. Now, Wiki says: Gling-Gló is an Icelandic onomatopoeia whose English equivalent is “Ding Dong,” or the sound that a bell makes. So I’ll leave to decide for yourself.
No matter. Here’s the deal with this fantastic record: take what you know about how Björk sings, her inimitable voice and attack and everything it entails, and then apply it to a piano jazz bar band. Yes, this record seems like it has come to you straight from the lobby of the Reykjavík Holiday Inn on a Saturday night.
To save me all the work, Wiki says this:
Gling-Gló contains Icelandic themes, and most of the songs are sung in Icelandic. There are also five versions of English language songs by other artists: “Ruby Baby,” by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and the jazz standard “I Can’t Help Loving That Man”, by Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern; and in Icelandic “Það sést ekki sætari mey”, which means in English “There Is No Sweeter Girl”, and is misattributed in the album notes and on the CD as having been written by “Rogers/Hammerstein”, but is in reality a completely reworded cover of “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun” by Irving Berlin from the famous musical Annie Get Your Gun. There is also the Icelandic version of Sway, Í dansi með þér. Additionally, “Bílavísur” is a reworked rendition of “The Blacksmith Blues,” first performed by Ella Mae Morse. “Ég veit ei hvað skal segja” is also a reworked rendition of “Ricochet Romance”, performed by the likes of June Carter Cash and Teresa Brewer. The title “Pabbi minn” is an Icelandic version of “O Mein Papa”.
Weird? Not really. Like everything else Björk does, it just works, whatever it may be. And I really enjoyed this album a ton. Never mind that I didn’t understand some of the lyrics (a good portion of it is in Icelandic, with a few English tracks), it doesn’t matter at all. This is super-groovy, jazzy fun, Björk-style.
Two thumbs way up.