Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on 13 September 2013
I must admit to only having acquired this magnificent album recently, prompted, incidentally, by watching the recent TV documentary on the making of her recent album, Biophilia. Having said this, I have always found Bjork's music, idiosyncratic vocal style and, indeed, persona, extremely fascinating (as well as admiring her powerful acting performance in Lars von Trier's film Dancer In The Dark). Having owned the earlier two albums Debut and Post since their release, I had never quite got into these songs (with the exception of a handful, such as Hyperballad, Venus As A Boy, You've Been Flirting Again, Come To Me, Isobel, etc) to the extent that I have with those on Homogenic.
I am also not generally a fan of electronic music per se (which is probably reflected in the fact that my least favourite song on the album is Pluto), but here, Bjork's fusion of this with the classical acoustic sounds from the Icelandic String Octet makes for an intoxicating, and frequently sweeping and grandiose, mix. Indeed, this combination of the modern and 'ancient' seems to reinforce the singer's intentions for the album that, sonically in particular, it is conceptually focused on her native Iceland. Lyrically, on the other hand, many of the songs are obviously very personal, and tell intimate tales either around the electronic beats of songs All Neon Like, 5 Years and Immature or on the more sedate, and predominantly acoustic feel, of achingly beautiful songs like All Is Full Of Love and (a personal favourite) Unravel. Otherwise, there are perhaps more esoteric and poetic forces at work on the superb sweeping melodrama of Joga and Bachelorette, whilst album opener Hunter's haunting melody also gives a brief flavour of the diminutive one's ironic humour (and mastery of the 'Brit vernacular') as she quips, 'Thought I could organise freedom, how Scandinavian of me, you sussed it out didn't you?'. Throughout, of course, Bjork's vocals exude intoxicating levels of intimacy and passion, whether this be during the near-whispered interludes or on the big, soaring choruses.
An album that showcases an extraordinary and original talent and one that will keep me paying closer attention to her career going forward.