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Björk - Debut CD (album) cover

DEBUT

Björk

 

Crossover Prog

3.58 | 153 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Bjork's "Debut" is her third album, and is my second Bjork album heard and, to be honest, I was preparing for another awful vocal performance like "Medulla" and got a shock. From the outset Bjork shows she really has an amazing vocal range. The way she lets her voice warble and lose tone during 'Human Behaviour' is a ferociously original approach. I really liked this song reminding me at times like Alanis Morissette's style, who is one of the best female artists in my opinion, and at times she even sounds like Tori Amos. I was impressed by the pounding drums on this, quite industrial in places.

'Crying' is not as good but I admire the way Bjork really belts out the vocals not holding back. The melody is quite infectious and sounds nice with the harmonies. The drone in the background is appropriately ominous, and the track ends with a multi layered Bjork vocal acappela style.

The Japanese clanging begins 'Venus as a Boy' and the vocals are intimately sensual and sweeter. It is always obvious it is a Bjork song as she has such a unique style. It does not appeal to everyone, I am not the biggest fan of this style but I still have to admire the way she is just?? well, Bjork?.. not trying to emulate anyone else or answer to anybody, trying to justify her style. The violins on this are pretty and it is more accessible for a Bjork song.

'There's More to Life than this, recorded live at the milk bar toilets', is a fun thing, with a lot of background noise and talking as Bjork does her thing. This is more the experimental sound that she works on in later albums I noticed. Eventually she locks herself in a cubicle and you just hear her, which made me smile, who does this type of thing? She could have gone further and actually flushed the toilets, washed her hands, why not? I mean the fans would love that. Pink Floyd got away with stuff like this in their early years. At the end the sound is muffles as she leaves, apparently and a bus drives up, and we hear busses throughout, and a beautiful harp is heard with estranged raspy vocals that are a bit off key and melancholy. 'Like Someone In Love' is the song. I hated it's sentimentality and it reminded me of her film clips where she grins like a chesire cat and bends and sways.

Moving on, the next song is 'Big Time Sensuality', which I remember seeing on TV. The music is ultra cool staccato organ blasts and some interesting beats, very commercial, though Bjork sings in similar style, monotone to overdone vocal gymnastics. It is not too bad, kind of grows on you, but this one was a bit too repetitive for me.

'One Day' has a weird intro like a deranged baby but it was a compelling sound. She sings "One day it will happen, it will all come true, one day when you're ready, when you are up to it, the atmosss--- fear will get lighter and two suns ready to shine just for you, I can feel it, I can feel it," Hey that's great song writing. This is another highlight on the album, the way she gets into this and with all its emotive music, it makes sense. It even has spacey effects and her voice sounds nice with the echo. Great stuff.

'Aeroplane' continues the theme of planes. The picture in the booklet though has Bjork struggling to hold a model of an oversized Clipper ship. Her boot laces are untied and she looks pensive sitting in the corner. The song is back to the weird vocal style that turns me off. It is monotone and sounds off and it is hard to latch onto the melody. The jazz sax on this is a revelation though, and the music is kind of jungle like.

The album continues with 'Come To me' sung with emotion, as Bjork promises to "take care of you, protect you, calm down you're exhausted, you don't have to explain I understand. I love that sentiment in her voice and every man can understand this womanly touch. This is sheer beauty. She gets into the weirder lyrics when she beckons the man to "jump off, your buildings on fire and I'll catch you, destroy all that is keeping you down, then I'll nurse you?" This really captures a dark atmosphere in its simplistic feel and the music is ethereal.

Violently Happy is bad, dark and moody. The Anchor Song features disastrous improv accordion and is minimalist with Bjork singing something strange. It really is the worst on the album.

It ends with the finale, Play Dead, with its swirling electronica, it has a wonderful beat, musically excellent. The lyrics are downbeat "it's sometimes just like sleeping, curling up inside my private tortures, I nestle into pain, hug suffering, caress every ache." Powerful stuff.

Overall the album has 4 excellent songs and the rest are either mediocre or just plain awful. It sneaks in with 3 stars for all these reasons.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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