100 Greatest Albums of the 90’s: #42

Bjork – Debut

Bjork hopped from one bonkers punk band to the next until she landed with The Sugarcubes alongside the father of her child and a trumpet-playing over-dramatic moron called Einar. The Sugarcubes were like an Icelandic surrealist’s answer to The Smiths, complete with love-it-or-hate-it singing voices (except in Einar’s case which is abhorrent to every audience).  Even with the success of The Sugarcubes though, no one expected Bjork’s career to take over like it did. Covering UK dance, harp-assisted ballads, mysterious ethnic jazz-pop and hell of a lot of other stuff, Bjork’s debut sounds weirdly natural and primal no matter how electronic its accompaniment may actually be. Bjork’s voice is the sound your brain makes when you’re about to lose control. The music itself is as diverse and vibrant as you can hope for. ‘Venus as a Boy’ is a giddy anthem to a new crush set against strings and broken bottles; ‘There’s More To Life Than This’ sets the standard for 90’s dance-pop, cheekily interrupted when Bjork sneaks off to the toilet mid-song; ‘Come To Me’ is sensual trip-hop wrapped in rippling velvet and ‘The Anchor Song’ is a beautiful escapist, picturesque folk song backed by a set of wheezing woodwinds. ‘Debut’ isn’t quite her best record but if it serves one purpose, it’s that it singlehandedly defines the prime cuts of the European pop scene in the early 90’s and it’s still a joy to hear.

Listen to: Human Behaviour


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