List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
When I started doing this blog nearly 2 years ago there was only one Björk album on the Acclaimed Albums list – Debut. Whilst I love that album, it would probably only rank as #5 if I were to rank all of her albums. Here we are two updates of the list later and now the Björk albums I would rank as #2 and #4 have made an entrance.
For the record this is my ranking:
Anyway, here we are with Post and Homogenic. The albums where Björk began to shed a lot of the fun artifice that you can see on Debut and we start to see her inner self. Her greatest strength, other than her lateral thinking leading to musical innnovation, is her remorseless honesty. Especially, when she is looking to the hidden parts of herself and the darker side of love.
It is on these albums where Björk has housed some of her greatest songs.
When I started listening to her over a decade ago it was Homogenic’s ‘Bachelorette’ that one of the first to really grab me. It’s a song that requires stellar headphones so you can just hear absolutely everything. Her lyrics are cryptic, the strings are overbearing and the layers of the beats are mesmerizing. In my opinion, this song is her at her absolute peak in terms of vocal delivery (just listen to her on this) and production. To me, it is faultless.
Homogenic also houses ‘Pluto’, one of those songs that took a crowbar to my musical taste and opened it wide up. I had never heard anything quite like it with the harshness of the electronics and all of her screaming. It ranks as one of my favourite songs ever and (along with ‘Army of Me’) is a song that I take relish in playing loud when I am pissed off. It is rage and apocalypse. It also provides me with one of my favourite live music memories since I saw her perform it on the Volta tour with a dancing brass band.
After ‘Pluto’ is the beautifully subtle ‘All Is Full of Love’. With ‘Pluto’ comes destruction, with ‘All Is Full Of Love’ comes the rebirth. Never have I ever seen two so diametrically different songs used so perfectly on an album. Now, for me, the definitive version of ‘All Is Full Of Love’ is the version on the Vespertine Live album. It works so well as a bridge between those two albums since it is all about that other side of her that is only seen on Vespertine.
Other astonishing songs on Homogenic include ‘Unravel’, ‘Hunter’ and ‘Jóga’. I could go on for ages about Homogenic, but there is also Post to look at here.
My issue with Post is that whilst it is an amazing album, it did give us ‘It’s All So Quiet’. One of those incredibly ill-fated moves that, whilst it did bring her a lot of fame, unfairly represented her to a lot of people.
It was great in some ways though – the main one being ‘Hyper-Ballad’. Who else could create a song about wanting to do something destructive so that you can be all sweetness and light for your partner. Also, who would do this to the backdrop of classical music remixed with electronic beats.
Other highlights on Post includes the slightly bat-shit ‘I Miss You’, which has an equally bat-shit music video, ‘Isobel’ and the industrial stomper ‘Enjoy’.