Bjork
Homogenic


5.0
classic

Review

by Tunaboy45 USER (18 Reviews)
January 10th, 2015 | 75 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album of stunning beauty and breathtaking soundscapes that completely topples anything that came before.

During the mid 90’s, Bjork was on top of the world. Debut was a critical and commercial success and the follow up Post even more so. However in 1996 the infamous Bjork stalker took his life on tape and made an attempt on Björk’s. Understandably shaken, she retreated to Spain and began working on new material. These events had caused her music to take a different direction, becoming more stripped back and lyrically darker. Homogenic is the result of this.

Despite this shift in direction, the album still retains certain qualities from her previous albums, meaning Homogenic isn't a difficult album to enjoy. Björk still utilises her vocal range to its full extent, giving the album an epic and ethereal quality. One huge difference between Homogenic and her previous studio efforts is the orchestral elements contained within the songs. Joga and Bachelorette both feature sweeping violins that make the songs sound extremely dense and unique, especially when they are mixed with the more familiar elements, such as synths and drum beats. The aforementioned Joga is one of the best tracks from the album, and arguably one of the greatest of Björk’s career. It is one of her most musically layered pieces, featuring an elegant violin and a synth that fades in and out throughout. But the real star of the show is Björk’s vocals, which compliment the instrumentals perfectly, making for a jaw dropping experience that will get under your skin and stay there. Her vocals don’t hold the album together as such; they just work in perfect harmony with the instrumental portion of Homogenic to create an experience that is quite unlike any other. The theme of introversion and reclusiveness runs throughout thanks to the stripped down production. You get the impression that she is bearing her soul and confronting all of the negativity in her life. Whereas Post showed Björk becoming accustomed to city life, Homogenic shows her scrapping that and leaving the city in favour of a distant land where she has time to reflect.

Album closer All Is Full Of Love is one of the most bare and simplistic tracks on the album. It allows Björk to show her vocals off behind nothing but a minimalist, drawn out synth and background vocals towards the end of the song. Lyrically, it is also one of the most emotional and raw songs from Homogenic, and the main theme is that you can find love in anything and anyone, just need to look in the right places. Björk delivers this important and inspiring message to the listener perfectly, with lines such as “You’ll be given love, you’ll be taken care of, you’ll be given love, you have to trust it”. When she isn’t presenting a message of love, she is almost ranting about previous lovers that aren’t committed enough, such as on 5 Years. The lyrics are delivered with a stabbing snide and anger that we haven’t really seen before from Björk, and this could be a direct result of how she was feeling at the time. Lyrics like “You think you’re denying me of something, well I’ve got plenty, you’re the one who’s missing out” and “But you won’t notice, ‘till after five years, if you live that long” are delivered with a genuinely unexpected animosity.

One track that breaks away from the orchestral elements and love-based is Alarm Call. A constant drum beat features throughout that wouldn't be out of place on a Michael Jackson album, and it makes it much more upbeat than any of the previous songs. The lyrics deal more with having a great lust for life, and wanting to live it to the full. You would think such a radical departure from the main themes of the album would make it feel out of place but surprisingly, it doesn’t. If anything it just feels refreshing and fun, almost like something you would have found on Debut.

If you enjoyed her previous works, and if you go into this album with an open mind, you will almost certainly enjoy it. The context surrounding it helps to explain the huge departure from some of the more conventional elements featured in her other music. If you haven’t heard Homogenic already, it’s essential that you give one of the most unique and influential albums of the 90’s a listen.



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user ratings (1323)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BMDrummer
January 10th 2015


11444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

always been so close to 5ing this

JJKeys
January 10th 2015


478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, Tuna. Weird that I was just listening to this album a couple hours ago; I'm not head over heels about the album myself, but its very solid nonetheless.



Just a little thing about your review; I noticed you repeated the phrase 'stripped down/back' a few times. It's nothing major, but it might've been better to find an alternative expression to spice it up a bit. Great review otherwise, pos'd.

Tunaboy45
January 10th 2015


6585 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

@JJ Thanks! It really grew on me after multiple listens.



Thanks for the feedback too, I have used that phrase a few times.

Digging: Warpaint - Warpaint

Tunaboy45
January 10th 2015


6585 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

What's stopping you BM?

JokineAugustus
January 10th 2015


7770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I am

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part

DoctorDoom
January 10th 2015


1143 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is so dang good.

BMDrummer
January 10th 2015


11444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

idk what it is, just haven't felt like it

Totengott
January 10th 2015


2364 Comments


I have to check this out, but nice review man, pos'd.

Digging: Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

Tunaboy45
January 10th 2015


6585 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Thanks a lot! Yeah give it a listen.

johnnydeking29
January 10th 2015


10075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet album, sweet review - pos'd! I've always preferred Post and Vespertine, but this album rules hard.

Digging: Envy - All the Footprints You've Ever Left...

Tunaboy45
January 10th 2015


6585 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Johnny, sweet album indeed!

Tunaboy45
January 10th 2015


6585 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

@Drummer fair enough

JokineAugustus
January 10th 2015


7770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Post is better, but Vespertine is slightly worse for me. All are hard 4.5's though.

JJKeys
January 10th 2015


478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Post (4.8) > Vespertine (4.7) > Medulla (4.5) > Biophilia (4.3) > Homogenic (4.2) > Selmasongs (3.9) > Debut (3.7) > Volta (3.4) > Drawing Restraint 9 (3.0)

Tunaboy45
January 10th 2015


6585 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Seems like an accurate ranking, but Debut is a hard 4 for me

chinesewhispers
January 10th 2015


1097 Comments


Biophilia over Homogenic? Never heard that before

Vespertine > Homogenic > Post > Debut = Medulla > Biophilia > Volta

Oh yeah, good review

Tunaboy45
January 10th 2015


6585 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I know some people that think Biophilia is her best, which is awesome. The beauty of Bjork's music is that it is so diverse, one person's favourite album could be another's worst.

JJKeys
January 10th 2015


478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And even her worst blows most other artists out the water

chinesewhispers
January 10th 2015


1097 Comments


^True that. Amazing artist

KILL
January 11th 2015


73287 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the only thing the s/t blows is hard todger

Digging: Sandrose - Sandrose



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