The song "Pluto," by Björk, melts your face. The first time I heard it, I thought to myself: "Björk + distortion = yuck." I think perhaps I just wasn't prepared for having my face melted in such an overtly meltalicious way. A few more listens convinced me that it was pretty rocking. A few more listens and I realized that it was a three-minute masterpiece of emotion sung to a backing track that could only have been acquired by a microphone in the midst of an industrial apocalypse, or perhaps by unmitigated genius.
Then I got to dance to it in a basement full of people, with a strobe light going. This experience may be illegal in several countries. We had to mop the faces off the floor.
Let me break it down for you. The overtly electronic robot-factory background, perhaps a prelude to the almost disquieting calm of All Is Full Of Love, might not unsettle you too much, especially if you're used to the sweet strains of that pioneer of twentieth-century noise-as-popular-music genius, the Aphex Twin. In fact, it sounds like a rather tamer version of the similarly respiratory-system-melting Richard D. James ditty, Ventolin.
What else does Björk have in store for you? Oh, a drum kit kicks in early, fine. This song could use a real beat. As more machinery starts rumbling in the background, Bjork starts singing a deceptively low-key lyric, aside from the undercurrent of menacing fuzziness. Excuse me, she sings, and we get another real beat, this one with more punch than that first one.
But I just have to
Explode this body off me.
Here goes. We get a whole pile of backup Björks kicking in on harmony, and the vocals start building. This song is about to take off. Brace yourself for the explosion. Hold on to your face. Björk is about to free the human race from suffering.
But no! Not yet. There's one last thing to tell you. When the explosion comes, don't worry about Björk. She'll be fine.
I'll be brand new. Brand new tomorrow. A little bit tired. But brand new.
Hold on, we're starting again. This time we get the full treatment. An infinity of Björks singing backup again, and this time they've brought the strings with them. The vocals build again just like they did thirty seconds ago, and then the strings and backing vocals drop out.
Now it's just Björk, with the robotic eschaton at her heels, screaming like she was given the ability to scream for this very moment as she explodes this body off her in preparation for a brand new tomorrow.
Meanwhile you, the listener, are in Melt Disney World.
All lyrics (formatted like this) are from Björk's Pluto, off the album Homogenic. This writeup was prepared for Orpheum's Songs and Lyrics quest, and has been CST Approved. Please see ophie's writeup above if you're curious about the significance of the song's title.