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Björk - Debut CD (album) cover

DEBUT

Björk

 

Crossover Prog

3.52 | 104 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

russellk
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Um. This is a surprise. BJORK in ProgArchives! Look what happened while I was away! I've argued that much of electronica ought to be in ProgArchives and it appears it is being added by stealth: BJORK in crossover, SQUAREPUSHER in Jazz/Rock Fusion and so on. All good as far as I'm concerned!

Nevertheless, BJORK has added quite a bit to the progressive music movement. Not so much with this debut album, however, which relies on her beautifully simple melodies arranged by electronic wizards like TRICKY, NELLEE HOOPER and GRAHAM MASSEY. This is a beautiful, endearing pop record that was rightly popular, much more so than many of her more progressive and difficult later works such as 'Vespertine' and 'Medulla'. It contains some pleasant pop such as 'Human Behaviour' and 'Big Time Sensuality', a stab at a female diva song ('Like Someone In Love', my candidate for worst song on the record), and a handful of outstanding songs bordering on genius.

Let me take a moment to talk about them. 'Venus As A Boy' was released as a single and is possibly the most erotic song ever to chart, a homage to a boy actually able to pleasure a girl ('He's exploring the taste of her arousal'). It is simply beautiful, and the chorus nails the meaning of the song with its repetitive short vocal stabs (forgive the metaphor, but I believe that's what she intended). Songs like this are her unique gift. 'There's More To Life Than This' is as happy-go-lucky a song as you could imagine, full of whimsy and humour and fx tricks to make her point. And then there's 'One Day', a song filled with longing, drilling through our facades to the place where we wish were were more significant than we are. One day... The music is spectacular but as always it's about BJORK's voice and the way her lyrics get under your skin and make you take another look at yourself. The closer, 'Play Dead', is as near to familiar prog territory she comes, and it's not very close... Just a majestic, over-the-top song with a superb arrangement and astonishing vocals. I wish she'd done more of these!

So. This is not a prog masterpiece, but it was a game-changer in the pop world, making artists re-evaluate what they did and how they went about it. That's not a bad definition of 'progressive', is it?

russellk | 4/5 |

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