*This album is #373 on the Rolling Stone top 500 Albums
: After four albums fronting the Sugarcubes, Bjork debuted as a solo artist with the aptly titled "Debut". A brilliant album in my opinion, it introduces Bjork's strange brand of electronic alternative pop. She not only has an amazingly unique voice and stunning musical ability, she is very much a performer and entertainer. Her music videos and live performances are bizarre to say the least. But, enough of that, you all know who Bjork is, so let's get to the review!
1) Army Of Me
- This song uses fading synth against a militant drum to create a sort of post-apocalyptic power trip. Dark and intense, this song crushes the "Icelandic Fairy" stereotype Bjork received after her first album. This is a good song, but she doesn't show off her vocals. B.
- After the last song this seems very bare-bones; quiet consistent drums and soft synth. This makes the listener concentrate closer on the lyrics. While "Army Of Me" had a more forceful message, I find this to be a lot more powerful. Towards the end drums, snyth, and strings build up and really suck you into this beautiful song. The lyrics are simple but intense, and fit wonderfully with the music. A.
3) The Modern Things
- What a fun idea for a song! All of technology waiting in a mountain to come out and take over. There is also some Icelandic (I assume) vocalization in this song, and it sounds really nice even though I have no idea what they mean. This song also features some of that awesome Bjork screaming/wailing; just overall a great song for vocals. A+.
4) It's Oh So Quiet
- A cover of a classic song; she does a nice job with it too. Still, she didn't really change the format much if you've heard the original. Fun, but in the world of Bjork, there's better. C+.
- Now the dark stuff comes back, with those militant drums and repetitive synth. But this song is different, no doubt about it. The vocals on this song are far more interesting than Army Of Me. They sound kind of weirdly recorded (muffled and echo-y at times), which adds a sort of spooky element. There's a lot of yowling, which is always good. Cooler instrumentation in this one, IMO. She worked with Tricky here, if you care about that. A-.
6) You've Been Flirting Again
- Wow, way to take it down from spooky intensity back to softness. This has no drums, just strings. There are 5 different lines of lyrics to this, along with some ooo-ing. Pretty, but not really my style. In fact, I usually skip it. C+.
- Now we go to a cool jungle beat, with appropriate lyrics. Bjork really knows how to take you where she wants to go, and she takes you to a strange forest with the beat and her words. This song is intenese but not really dark, it gives you the feeling of going deeper into the forest as you go on. Very well done, I have no complaints on this one. A+.
8) Possibly Maybe
- Starting off softer again, but this one takes a different route. Creepy instrumentalization on this, and great vocals. I like the lyrics too, about the exhaustion, pain, intensity, and danger of love. The chorus sounds kind of lovey-dovey on it's own, but the verse is intense and somewhat violent. Spooky. I love it. A+.
9) I Miss You -
First of all, I have to tell you that there is a video for this made by the guy who draws Ren and Stimpy. Check it out. Anyway, this song in itself is only okay in my book. Cool drums, but the synth is really kinda lame. The lyrics get a little repetative, but she does some really cool singing on this one, so that makes up for it. Plus, there's a really cool breakdown with drums and yowling Bjork. The trumpets, when they come in, are awesome too. B, maybe B+.
10) Cover Me
- Harpsichord? Why not! I like the lyrics in this, but this song is a little too bare for me. Cool sound effects create a spooky little enviroment, but the lack of drums bothers me. Not that I feel drums are really appropriate in this song, what with the sort of whispered vocals and all, but...I miss drums! This is another song I skip usually. B-.
- She sings way too quietly for most of this song, and it bothers me. It's a slower song, setting you in what feels like an underground ice cave. Some interesting vocal experimentation towards the end saves it, and I like the lyrics, but this is still not as strong as most of the album. Awesome Icelandic in there too. C.
, this is a very good album, even the points I considered weak are really more matters of personal taste. If you liked Debut, the softer parts of this album probably appeal to you, if you liked Homogenic, then you probably will like the more upbeat parts. Overall, a really gorgeous album, and the fact that she keeps it varied just proves there's not a standard formula to her work...she's a true artist.