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Bjork - Homogenic [Japan pressing],
This review is from: Homogenic (Audio CD)
Bjork for me is one of those artists, where I cannot chose just one favourite album of theirs. Every Bjork album is very very good, but there has always been at least one track that I simply did not like. 'Homogenic' is an alienic, electronic and very unusual album, which will leave you thinking something like wtf (if you are new to Bjork), I don't get this (if the album hasn't grew on you yet), or this is really creative and unique (if you like it immediately). Sometimes, I love this album, and sometimes I hate it, but that is why I find it so fascinating.
The album begins with the magnificent "Hunter", which you have to be in a certain mood to enjoy it at its peak. It seems at first like a very simple song, with just a snare drum, and vocal, but the lyrics are complex, and as you will find out, the lyrics are also. This was the second single in the UK, and Bjork's lowest charting song there, peaking at #44 and only staying in the charts for one week. "Joga" is another song I have to be in a mood for to listen to it at its peak. It is a strange ballad, which samples atmospheric Icelandic sounds such as volcanoes and earthquakes. The strings are fantastic and it has an awesome climax. "Unravel" is a fan favourite but is a song that I unfortunately can not really get into. I find it more than a little bland actually. It doesn't really go anywhere.
"Bachelorette" (#24 UK) is another alright song with gorgeous strings, and powerful vocals. The texture is thick, and the song itself is very very complex. The video, however, is one of my favourites (only behind Pagan Poetry and Cocoon). "All Neon Like" is quite a European song, and is the only song that comes close a bit to 'dance' music hence the wonderful bass synthesizer beat which comes in after a minute or so. This is one of the strangest songs I have ever heard, and one of Bjork's weirdest - ever. It almost has a hypnotizing effect on the listener as all the electronic layers gradually come in and works very well. "5 Years" is a nice song which again samples earthquakes and such. Like track 4, the strings are lovely, but are one of the more forgettable songs.
"Immature" is actually one of my favourites. It has a tracney kind of texture to it, and it is great how Bjork simply just repeats the same few lines throughout the song - it does not get boring though. The song begins very calm and relaxing before verse 1 where Bjork asks 'How could I be so immature?', and some techno-like beats come in. Bjork soon answers 'How extremely lazy of me' and then sings some of her famous gibberish. "Alarm Call" follows and is defiantly the most radio-friendly song from this album. It was the third single in the UK, and is a nice contrast to the other crazy, out-of control songs on this album, and speaking of this "Pluto" follows and has to be one of if not the most crazy, out of control, high energy songs I have ever heard - which makes it my favourite song on this album. The beat is very hard and loud, and the song (like most others on this album, but to a greater extent) sounds like it belongs on Mars, rather then Earth. he climax comes when Bjork starts screaming (which I couldn't stand at first as it was very loud and went on for 1 minute), and after this, the song ends, and the calmest song on the album (which is another great use of contrast) "All I Full Of Love" closes the album wonderfully, although I enjoy the single version a lot better.
Now, for the Japanese bonus tracks. "Joga (howie b main mix)" is not very good at all. It is simply just the original song with some extra beats, which actually make the song worse. It doesn't climax or have the contrast that the original has. "Sod Off" is my favourite Japanese track. It is a great song, but the only bad thing is that it is quite short, at only 2:54, so I am guessing that this is the reason it was left off. "Immature (Bjorks Version)" follows. The original, is one f my favourite 'Homogenic' tracks, so I was intrigued was the 'Bjork' version would be. It has no electronic sounds, and is just lead and backing vocal and piano. Very interesting and beautiful. "So Broken" is a good song, but I don't like the lyrics very musch, as they are quite corny, but this is probably because English is my first language, and was Bjork's second. Ir is a good song, as I said but doesn't climax or anything. "Nature Is Ancient" is a cool song, with an even coller video. The "Joga (alec empire mix)" is yet another horrible remix. It sounds like something I would have made (and that is not a good thing, as I have no experience and don't even know how to use this software properly). The first thing I noticed is that the VOCAL IS OUT OF TIME WITH THE MUSIC. Although this may be 'original', it sounds like something I would make (note: this is not a good thing, and the song goes for nearly ten minutes). The structure is something like the following (I don't listen to the song much so I would not know for sure)::
1. Bass synth with out-of-time vocal
2. 6 minutes or so of boring, repeatative, simple electronica
3. Same 'music' as the first verse, although second verse
4. The song (finally) finishes.
This is the second worse released remix I have ever heard, and I have no idea why Bjork (such a creative artist) would let this crap go on even the Japan edition. The song goes no-where and I think I will just leave my negativity at that.
I recommend the import of the tracks despite the Joga remixes. Immature (Bjork's version) is the best bonus track.
9 / 10