Björk Homogenic

[Elektra; 1997]

Rating: 5/5

Styles: electronic, experimental
Others: Sugarcubes, Matmos, Matthew Barney, Herbert

Björk is the epitome of musical prodigies. While many musicians are still experimenting to push the envelope of music further, Björk has shown that they are merely taking baby steps in achieving this goal. Despite her playful, kid-like attitude, Björk is not just a child playing with her brand new toys. She is a musical genius. Everything from the syncopated percussion to the lyrical beauty of her words has proven Björk to be one of the leading forces carrying the creative flag to new heights.

After Post, one might have jumped to the premature conclusion that Björk had released her best album. I mean, how can anyone top such a critically acclaimed album? But this conclusion is akin to saying Rubber Soul represented the Beatles at their prime. An accusation that is certain to lead to debate. Yes, the music on Post was incredibly original and it may seem that there were no more chord progressions left to be heard, but Björk has once again proved that completely original music can still be created on Homogenic.

Homogenic begins with the painfully beautiful "Hunter." Suffocated beats bounce from speaker to speaker as the song begins to unfold. Layers upon layers of synths are washed throughout the song. The heart of the album pumps with the distorted beats of "All Neon Like." Björk's lyrical brilliance shines bright on this song when she sings "the cocoon surrounds you, embraces all so you can sleep fetus-style." The closest song on the album to even remotely be considered radio-friendly is called "Alarm Call." This song provides the necessary elements to get "jiggy wit it." Don't worry, though. It's very unlikely that Björk will follow Mr. Smith's footsteps. The album ends on an optimistic note with the exquisite "All Is Full of Love."

Is Homogenic the start of a new genre in music? No. Is it true that Björk rhymes with "work?" Yes. Is Björk the first female Beatle? Um...not quite. The fact is, Björk has managed to create something so refreshingly unique that trying to categorize and label the music is rather dubious. It is easier to see Homogenic as the backbone for the future of music. Björk is so far ahead of time, who knows when this backbone can be built on, but at least we have something to look forward to. By the looks of it so far, music has never looked so hopeful.

1. Hunter
2. Joga
3. Unravel
4. Bachelorette
5. All Neon Like
6. 5 Years
7. Immature
8. Alarm Call
9. Pluto
10. All Is Full of Love