Friday, December 5, 2014

Flashback Friday: Perfect Songs - Joga

This was originally posted on my Tumblr on August 31, 2012.

Perfect Songs - Joga

Love songs are a dime a dozen. The ones that stand out are usually the more tragic ones, as evidenced by my last two Perfect Song posts. There’s just something about happiness that makes it hard to write about without going into cheese and cliche, I guess. I think it’s because, on the surface at least, happiness is a very simple emotion, where as sadness is accompanied by anger, loss and just about everything else. In order for a positive love song to shine, it has to go beyond the happiness angle and truly explore what love means, which can be complex and intense. The first example that pops into my mind is Bjork’s Joga, a perfect song.
What is love?* It’s a feeling, it’s accidents, it’s not something you can put your finger on. What stands out most to me in this song is that it is not a series of images. The metaphors, if they even are that, are more internalized. It’s about emotional landscapes, not about blue skies and birds singing in trees. I feel like the lack of images makes the song that much more universal. As a matter of fact, Bjork wrote the song for both her best friend and about Iceland, which is a pretty strange combination to put into one song. Interestingly, what comes through is just love, in a very pure and universal sense. 
Musically, the song is orchestrated in a way that makes it feel like a series of sighs, rising and rising and washing over you. Love puts you into a beautiful state of emergency, as your adrenaline flows, thinking about the other person and how they make you feel. It’s a cliche to say it’s like a drug, but it really is. When you’re in it, this is the most important thing in the world. All else melts away, leaving only these bizarre emotional landscapes for you to puzzle over because they only make sense when you’re together. You sigh, from your soul, and get caught up in this swirl of ecstasy. It’s not a complicated song, but it is intense and somehow manages to be felt more than heard. It’s perfect.
*Baby, don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me, no more.

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