Homogenic (studio album) by Björk
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Condition: Very Good
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Homogenic is ranked as the best album by Björk.
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Homogenic track list
The tracks on this album have an average rating of 87 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).
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This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 84.2/100, a mean average of 82.9/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 84.3/100. The standard deviation for this album is 16.2.
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A great album that puts Björk at the centre with her fantastic voice on display. The peak of this is on the simply sensational run of four songs that come right at the start of the record. The music is expansive and grand and is so engaging for the listener. There is so much depth behind the music as well which gives us loads to explore and loads to keep coming back to as well. The 4 song stretch on this record is the greatest Björk has ever sounded musically and it is extremely impressive how diverse and creative she is with her sounds on this project. After this we do get a significant drop off in quality in my opinion, with her leading away from the grand sound and exploring the electronic side more. In my opinion, this doesn't work very well with some of the tracks sounding a little dated now and it does feel like quite a drag to the finish. Overall, there is some outstanding stuff on here but the second half does hold it back making the album lack consistency and cohesion.
Iceland was settled in 874 AD and to this day, only one percent of its geography is cultivated. It's a domain consisting of kaleidoscopic variance when regarding its terrain, with its dramatic contrasts consisting of majestic national parks and prepossessing waterfalls living shoulder-to-shoulder with domineering glaciers and arid, lava deserts rife with volcanic ash. It's only fitting that the country's preeminent musical export synthesizes her homeland's eccentricities into a sonic approach that becomes more and more idiosyncratic as the years elapse. When diving into Björk's music fresh-faced and fully minted, there is often the distinct absence of a harbinger which fuels an ever-evolving discography that can only be described as chameleonic. The euphonious auteur is comfortably more than "that strange songstress from Iceland". More accurately, she's the physical and spiritual embodiment of the beguiling island: ancient, serpentine and seemingly omniscient. These descriptors have never been more apropos than on 1997's 'Homogenic'
It's all there, unclad and unshrouded on the album's cover, as the singer appears adorned with stoic wisdom and unconventional elegance, born of unknown origin. The music to complement the artwork adopts the chillier sentiments of the portrait as opening track, 'Hunter', eschews the predominantly warm overtones contained on the preceding album, 1995's 'Post'. The track fizzes in as pulsating bass arrives to provide the track with infrastructure. Soon after, Björk's detached, aversive vocals greet the listener to elucidate a steadfast direction and an unswerving desire to take herself into a new era, both personally and creatively. There's a hint of the singer looking to her past and a self-reflective look at her musical image up until this point, which was staunchly pacifist and rife with angelic innocence. She recognizes, "I thought I could organize freedom, How Scandinavian of me!" A visage is forming of an artist who no longer pulls her punches and is ready to blaze her own path and new sonic identity with a track that is equal parts human and android. With all compromises forgone, Björk slips into the realm of soul exposé for subsequent track, 'Jóga'. From its genesis, the track is laid softly on a bed of strings which, along with the singer's fluttering voice, soars away from the confines of a darkened cavern and into the shimmering sun. She declares, "Emotional landscapes, They puzzle me, Confuse; Can the riddle get solved?; And you push me up to this state of emergency; How beautiful to be." The track is a dedication to her friend, Jóhanna Jóhannsdóttir, as its trip-hop production and string orchestration gives the song ample punch as well as dynamic contrast. It's the most potent composition on 'Homogenic' and, according to Björk herself, "the fiercest love song she has ever written". Swiftly, the bombastic heights of 'Jóga' recede into the soft cradle provided by third track, 'Unravel'. If 'Jóga' was a fearless declaration of admiration, 'Unravel' is a vulnerable, dithering examination of how admiration is lost across distances and how making love repairs the wounds. Björk coos, "While you are away, My heart comes undone, Slowly unravels in a ball of yarn." There's a dove-like idealism at work here, but the ever-present specter of inevitable failure betwixt the ominous tones of the organ and fairy tale sonic landscape is never absent. It's a realization which blisters into full-blown acrimony on the swaggering, peacocking fourth track, 'Bachelorette'. The track unfurls like a wartime processional, carving out a path on which Björk espouses her essence and decries the indifference of her lover, which reverberates with far more vigor than that of a veiled threat. She professes, "I'm a tree that grows hearts, one for each that you take; You're the intruder's hand, I'm the branch that you break". Flanked with a full orchestra at the ready, which plots footsteps in periodicity with hammer-struck chords, 'Bachelorette' is the songstress at her most agitated, dauntless and dangerous.
As the raging waters of 'Bachelorette' wane, fifth track 'All Neon Like' peers out from under its shelter at the remnants of its predecessors scorn. The piece uncoils with fragility as the sun escapes the blockage of the clouds and begins to softly warm the frozen landscape as the track's confidence builds as the ice sweats. It's another love song, but not one of frustration, as Björk offers comfort to her susceptible inamorato. Practically uniform in tempo, 'All Neon Like' remains patient as waterlogged percussion compliments incorporeal keys and the track effectively remedies, just as the singer promises. The second side of the LP invokes the trip-hop escalation of '5 Years', a more subdued echo of the sentiments of 'Bachelorette'. Once again, a refusal of commitment takes center stage as robotic, looping keys form the skeleton of the track as the skittering drum motif dances alongside of the singer's postulations. "I'm so bored with cowards that say they want; Then they can't handle," she affirms as the sublime, understated strings steer the track to its boundary. Seventh entry, 'Immature', is an introspective manifestation of Björk's exasperations. Despite being one of the record's least-interesting inroads from a sonic standpoint, its thematic importance is never in question within an LP which not only seeks to compartmentalize the world around her, but also rectify Björk's own instabilities. After a septuplet of chapters residing firmly on the sullen side of the emotional spectrum, the bouncy, utopian paradise that is 'Alarm Call' comes as a breath of fresh air. Partly a love letter to music and an unfettered celebration of life, the track portrays the youthful exuberance of an artist reborn, fortified by pain and more acutely aware of the subtle joys when juxtaposed with her hardships. 'Alarm Call' arrives with a tone that recalls distant wind chimes and is ferried out by a guttural scream of defiance. This emphasis on rejuvenation accelerates with vitality on 'Pluto', the LP's most outlandish statement. The properties of the track are remarkably propulsive, as heavy electronic influence galvanizes as Björk's poetry is content to remain forthright and unambiguous. "Excuse me but I just have to explode; Explode this body off me", she exclaims. Despite being arid in terms of accessibility, 'Pluto' remains one of the record's unspoken delights. Antithesis plays its final hand on the LP's final hour, 'All is Full of Love'. As the track carefully paddles through a thick fog into view, Björk's tender delivery embodies the sage wisdom of an ancient being ripe with divinity. The eponymous calls and responses are cocooned by a wall of sound reminiscent of a swarm of insects, but not any native to a place on earth as the harpsichord signals the existence of a cherub realm all its own. It's a dizzying, satisfying coda to a record wrought with pugnacity. The payoff is the personal baptism of its author as she shovels proverbial coal into a creative furnace which has fully and irrevocably liberated.
The Highlands of Iceland, home to the aforementioned volcanic desert, can only be traversed in the Summer, or put differently, when the weather permits. The stingy accommodations made by Mother Nature make it impossible for plant life to survive in the region , except for areas along the shoreline of glacial rivers. They're formed by the gradual melting of centuries-old chunks of ice, which finally manifest themselves as flowing, kinetic bodies of water which aid in the production of a scarce amount of flora. These glaciers have been Icelandic mainstays for thousands of years and their mass dwindles with each passing year as a result of the dramatic effects of global warming brought on by human industrialism. Björk's relationship with members of the human race has had its own share of traumatization. However, in her case, she didn't melt or wither in the barren, molten wasteland. Instead, she found the water.
It was so original, so fresh in the 90s, and guess what, it still sounds original and fresh today. Awesome album by Björk
I don't know why I never rated this, even though I've definitely listened to it. Anyway, I'm getting around to it now because I've been revisiting Björk's work the last few days. Like a lot of '90s electronica, this still sounds ahead of its time. A pristine, icy, often spiritual collection of songs driven by Björk's unbridled vocals. It's cliché, but no matter what era of hers you look at, simply no one sounds like her.
Incredible Masterpiece...for me in the best 5 albuns ever...see my chart.
Album Rating: 81.50
5.All Neon Like. 81
6.5 Years. 82
8.Alarm Call. 79
10.All Is Full Of Love. 89
Björk's magnum opus!
Nobody else sounds the same, ever.
Tough to engage with, although that crazy growling thing that Bork does is pretty cool. Gets points off for allegedly inspiring the making of Kid A. I didn’t totally hate it like I thought I would, but don’t tell my wife.
I don't really understand the fuss about this album personally. It's okay, but overall I found it quite samey and boring. I like Joga, Alarm Call and Bachelorette but the rest of the tracks weren't noteworthy.
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