Bjork
Debut


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tunaboy45 USER (15 Reviews)
December 30th, 2014 | 49 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A diverse first solo effort that wants you to join in on the fun.

The year was 1992 and Björk was in something of a predicament. She had outgrown the post punk/alternative rock style of her band at the time, The Sugarcubes, and wanted to broaden her horizons. With the help of production maestro Nellee Hopper, Björk made an album that was influenced by many different styles of music and that would kick her solo career off on a high note.

It would be impossible, and unfair, to pigeonhole this album into one particular style of music and each track is filled with the creativity and personality that would become a trademark of Björk later on in her career. Songs like Big Time Sensuality and There’s More To Life Than This (which was recorded live in the toilets of a club) feature a feel good electronica style, and they really are a highlight of the album. There’s More To Life Than This is filled with such an overwhelming sense of excitement and optimism, that it makes it nigh impossible not to get swept away with it. “We could nick a boat, and sneak off to this island, I could bring my little ghetto blaster” really demonstrates a youthful innocence and carelessness that is quite unlike anything that existed at the time. If dance isn’t your thing, you may enjoy the electronica/alternative rock style of Human Behaviour. This fan favourite allows Bjork to really show off her wide vocal range. One minute she will be singing in a soft, sensual style and the next she will be bellowing at the top of her voice. The African-sounding drums give it a uniquely ethereal quality that won’t be leaving your head any time soon.

Possibly one of the most well known songs from the album is the energetic dance anthem Violently Happy. The bittersweet lyrics of trying to have a good time when someone you care about is not present really contrast the upbeat drum beat and synths. It shares similarities with many dance tracks of the 90’s, but Björk’s eccentric vocals really make it stand out. But the album isn’t just made up of dance and electronica tracks. The warm and sentimental The Anchor Song is stripped bare of any drum beats or synths, it’s just Björk’s voice and a jazzy saxophone; provided by Oliver Lake. Her Icelandic heritage is clearly on display in the lyrics, where she is singing about living by the ocean and dropping anchor to claim her home. Album closer Play Dead is given a very epic quality, thanks to the sweeping violin that dominates the instrumental portion of the track. When the album isn’t making you want to dance, it is allowing you to lay down and just chill-out, whether you’re reflecting or relaxing. Venus As A Boy features laid back strings, and sounds produced from what would appear to be a bottle. Lyrically it is one of the most mature tracks on the album. Lines like “His wicked sense of humour suggests exciting sex” prove that while there is an underlying playfulness to the song (and the album), the person performing on it is indeed a woman and not a child. Love is the dominant lyrical theme of the album, and Aeroplane is a perfect example of this. Lines like “He’s away, this ain’t right, I’m alone” create a melancholy atmosphere, touching upon the basic feeling of sadness created from missing the company of someone you love or care about.

There really aren’t many negatives to speak of; the only thing that might be off-putting to some people is Björk’s voice. She has a very strong accent that sounds like a mix of Icelandic and a bit of British. But most people should be able to get used to this very quickly and from then on it’s pure bliss. I highly recommend Debut to anyone who hasn’t already heard it, and it is an album I am sure I will return to time and time again.



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user ratings (808)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Contributing Reviewer
December 30th 2014


2686 Comments


(edit: fixed)


Digging: Christopher Hipgrave - No Greater Hero than the Least Plant that Grows

Tunaboy45
December 30th 2014


5158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great feedback Johnny, always appreciated.

I was struggling with the summary so thanks a lot for that.

Digging: Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase.

ZombicidalMan
December 30th 2014


2095 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

just grabbed post on vinyl, might have to go back and get this, too

Tunaboy45
December 30th 2014


5158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's a really great album, definitely recommend it.

ZombicidalMan
December 30th 2014


2095 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'd rather have Vespertine or Homogenic, but I do admit this is a pretty great album. Just doesn't stand out as much to me

Tunaboy45
December 30th 2014


5158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This has a different vibe altogether compared to those two.

insanedrexl1
December 30th 2014


722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

rules hard

Digging: Goreinhaled - Unleash the Bloody Storm

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 30th 2014


31779 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Not a 5, neg'd

Digging: Phace - Shape The Random

Tunaboy45
December 30th 2014


5158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Sorry deviant. Still love it though.

BigPleb
December 30th 2014


39640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes Dev, never knew you loved Bjork.

tempest--
December 30th 2014


15269 Comments


soooo good

demigod!
December 30th 2014


46023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is mad groovy, i need to check more bjork

Digging: Tenement - The Blind Wink

BigPleb
December 30th 2014


39640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ayyy Demi :]

demigod!
December 30th 2014


46023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sup pleb, nice Mona-shuggah pic

BigPleb
December 30th 2014


39640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers man haha, have a good Crimbo?

demigod!
December 30th 2014


46023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Crimbo? fantastic Crimbo. Crimbo'd so hard this year i crimmed my bo.



what's a Crimbo?

BigPleb
December 30th 2014


39640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hahaha, it means Christmas bro!



Never watched a show called Bo Selecta?

demigod!
December 30th 2014


46023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no man that sounds awfully british. im open to suggestions tho!

BigPleb
December 30th 2014


39640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's awesome man, quite strange humour but series 1 & 2 are some of my faves ever.



Peep Show is still the best, though.

Necrotica
December 30th 2014


10356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of Bjork's best

Digging: Deftones - Diamond Eyes



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