63. Björk – “Debut”

Miss Björk has one of the few truly distinctive voices in the music world.  Perhaps only Dylan, Plant and Snoop Dogg can so easily stand out in an aural crowd.  And each of them is more imitable than this Icelandic siren will ever be.

bjork debut album cover BjörkI first remember hearing her “singing” on the Sugarcubes’ hit Happy Birthday.It was a like some alien trying to imitate a whale… and utterly mesmerising.

This solo outing sees her letting go of some of the more extreme wackiness of her earlier band, and also sticking to singing in English (I think). 

The album is  fantastically well-produced, with a consistent, orchestral feel.  Her vocals wrap around you and her pop sensibilities come to the fore.

Björk walks a fine line.  If she didn’t have this unique vocal instrument, this could just be a fairly middle-of-the-road Dianna Krall-type jazzy effort.  If she were to go over the top with the vocal trickery she’d be entering Enya land (and thus condemned to soundtracking yoga classes and nature documentaries for the rest of her natural life).

Neither traps are tripped here. Human Behaviour, Big Time Sensuality and Venus as a Boy stand as testament to Björk’s star status.

File under: Orca the entertainer

Note: this won’t appear on my “best debuts” list, as it isn’t one.  She had a solo release as a kid it turns out…

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One response to “63. Björk – “Debut”

  1. Still on of the greatest albums to come out of Iceland… and the 90s for that matter. Beautifully arranged it’s an aural trip that weaves various textures together to produce something haunting yet incredibly inviting. Her choice of phrasing is mesmerising as are the majority of tracks on this release. It went all pretty hit and miss later in her career but for this album all the Icelandic stars aligned.

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