NPR tries to explain Bjork this week

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As a part of NPR's 50 Great Voices installment, they sagely chose Bjork as their subject this week. So wise are the ways of Bjork; part performance artist, part actor, part siren, part wood nymph and herbal healer – the woman is a walking art project in the best way possible. Not everyone appreciates what she does, which we'll simply refer to as her "sensibility." (Every time someone tries to label Bjork, a sparrow dies.)

But let's say I'm not too familiar with Bjork; I just want someone to spell out what it is that the woman does, what makes her so great. NPR, help me out:

The singer's relationship to sound is abstract. Her voice is both powerful and visceral, but like her music, she can't quite explain it. Sometimes, it's challenging to listen to, but there are moments of beauty and transcendence in each of her songs.

Meh. I've never come across a Bjork profile that does the singer justice. (Again, do not try to capture Bjork with a butterfly net made of words.)

Anyway, here are some other crazy things you might not know about Bjork, from the ten-minute interview:

  • Her name is actually pronounced "Bjerk" (she says rhymes with jerk)
  • Literally retreated into the woods with a tent and a backpack when she was thirteen
  • Started hitchhiking at age sixteen
  • Thom Yorke wept the first time he heard her music (it's okay, you can laugh)