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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Life's Too Good

The Sugarcubes

1988

Buy At Rough Trade
Life's Too Good
Album Summary

Life's Too Good is the debut studio album by Icelandic alternative rock group The Sugarcubes. It was released in April 1988 by One Little Indian in the UK and Europe and in May 1988 by Elektra Records in the US. The album was an unexpected success and brought international attention for the band, especially to lead singer Björk, who would launch a successful solo career in 1993. Consisting of veterans of Reykjavík's early 1980s rock culture, the band took elements of the post-punk sound that characterized the scene, intending to create a humorous take on pop music's optimism, which is reflected in the album's title. Despite never having intended to be taken seriously, and because of the success of their debut and their contractual obligations, the Sugarcubes went on to release two further studio albums.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.04

Votes

11301

Genres

  • Rock
  • New Wave
  • Post Punk

Reviews

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

no bjork slander in this house

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Sat Sep 04 2021
2

It's Icelandic B-52s with Björk at the helm. Not what I would call a good time. Best track: Birthday

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Thu Aug 25 2022
5

First track - had Bjork heard this before recording Big Time Sensually? Holy shit. Just glanced at the album notes and these guys are Icelandic. So yes, Bjork had definitely heard this before recording Big Time Sensuality. Second track is also strongly Bjorkish in vocal vibe. I mean, the music isn't, but the vocals sure are. Hah. Reading the notes more, the lead singer IS Bjork! What a journey of discovery! The album is great. Can really see the evolution of Bjork as a singer and artist. I wonder if the rest of the band have gone on to other stuff?

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Thu Feb 25 2021
4

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The vocals were very unique and I liked the icelandic. Many different styles of song and ya, good stuff.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
5

Wow. Didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The album art sets the mood and they never back down. Once I found my bearings after motor crash I really loved this one. Similar feel to B52s but edgier, stronger delivery and more energy. Incredible lead female vocals on birthday, delicious demon, mama then great duet chemistry in sick for toys and delicious demon. Great rock/new wave instrumentals. No bad songs really.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
5

I bought this record ON CASSETTE as a young teen after reading a review in Thrasher magazine. At the time, I would never have predicted Björk would become a world-wide sensation. Instead, it was just a great college radio record from an obscure Icelandic band I read about in a magazine. None of their other records quite hit like this one for me and it still sounds fresh, sweet and a little creepy.

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Tue Jul 18 2023
5

I instantly took to the Sugarcubes as soon as I heard them, and bought this album when it first came out. Birthday is an instant classic. Peter regularly drops 'Birthday' into the set when we are DJing together, and it still pops , 35 years later. My mate Tim and I saw them at Selinas at the Coogee Bay Hotel in 1990. I remember that Bjork was great and compelling, but that Einar was equally annoying. This record is weird and naughty and funny and scary and funky and dark and rude. It certainly has precedents (B52s, Birthday Party, Gang of Four, etc.), but when you look at them all in a list like, it is a pretty oddball mix, and could never be accused of being a copy of any of them. They really understand pop, but the way the tunes are constructed is compelling and unique. It was pretty clear from the beginning that Bjork was a vital creative voice (both literally and figuratively). They complained at the time that media attention focused mostly on her, instead of the band, but she really is the star of this album. And history has gone on to prove what a star and great artist she is. Her approach is always fresh and surprising, and you could hear that from this, her first international appearance. This album is still fresh and surprising to me. Bjork is still the star, and Einar is still annoying (in a good way, like Fred in the B52s). Five star, classic.

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Wed Apr 12 2023
5

I sing a lot when listening to music. I have a particular love for singing along with Bjork. It think it is the S and T sounds. I've loved this album for about 30 years and it still hits all the right markers. It marks the beginning of Bjork's best decade of music making. Life's too good.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
5

My brain was a bit like a fluorescent bulb on a bitterly cold day. —Hmmm…The Sugarcubes…I think that I have heard that name before. —Ok, it’s some quirky music. Fun. That female vocalist sounds like someone I have heard before. —Oh, I know, that sounds like Björk. Interesting. —Wow, it’s incredible how much like Bjö…oh, right, never mind…

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

I had no idea Bjork was in a weird post-punk band before going solo. This album kinda rules.

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Sun Apr 04 2021
4

Amazing album! About the time I was listening to Birthday I realized I was listening to something special. The female vocalist is on fire! Wailing, shrieking, crooning, growling... she sounds like a more-talented Blondie. Definitely at 80s sounding album btw. Looked them up, turns out this is Bjork! This is the best I've heard her. Great lyrics on this album. The include a song about god not existing, so they've got my approval. Definitely a 4.5. The only thing holding it down is the male "vocalist" who can't sing. Cut that fucker out and we've got a 5 star album. I downloaded this album it was so good though.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

Bjork is so much better when with The Sugarcubes. They seem to keep her in line, and she sings in the correct places along with the tune. I prefer the style of music too.

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Wed Apr 26 2023
3

There is a naked person in my flat!

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Thu May 19 2022
5

Insanely good, insanely fun, insanely bonkers.

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Sun Nov 20 2022
5

Hello. It is Christmas time and I am sitting here by my TV. I've been watching it very much lately because I'm on holiday. You shouldn't let poets lie to you.

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Wed Nov 22 2023
5

Absolutely fantastic. Probably my favorite new album in doing this.

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Sun Jul 11 2021
4

Loved this. I'm somewhat familiar with Bjork, but wasn't sure what to expect with this. I enjoyed Bjork's vocals more than the weird German-sounding fella, but I will definitely listen to this again and check out the other Sugar Cubes albums. 4 stars.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

I'm back in. Life's Too Good is fun and varied. Energy and bjork's quirky singing bring it all together. OK, Dragon is a curveball, but overall, an enjoyable alt pop album.

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Fri Apr 28 2023
4

Like others have said, the Sugarcubes are very much in the same vein as the B-52s. It’s interesting hearing Bjork in this context as this music is less experimental than her solo work, though it still has an edge. Overall a very good post-punk album.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
4

It was very much fun to experience the album that brought the Sugarcubes, Iceland, and Björk to the attention of the world.

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Tue Apr 23 2024
2

Today's review is presented by a special guest, my lovely and talented wife! In her words: "Please don't ever make me have to listen to that again."

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Tue May 04 2021
5

Weird, interesting and really good

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Sat May 15 2021
5

A+++ all round good time. Bjork’s old band holds up!

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

Fantastic. Really enjoyed revisiting this one. Innovative, full of energy. Bjork is a one-off and I love her!

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Sun Mar 20 2022
5

I could not help but dance to every song on this album. It's upbeat and fun grooves, mixed with Bjork's sensational vocals, creates such an optimistic listening experience. I can't imagine listening to this and not feeling lighthearted and happy. Though "Cowboy" made me laugh and "Dragon" was a little scary, I enjoyed every moment of this album.

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Mon May 16 2022
5

As much as I like Bjork's solo work, this indie pop is a better match for her fiery vocals. An absolute treasure.

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Thu May 26 2022
5

yowl and gibber, rock and roll

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Fri Jun 03 2022
5

A wonderful album! I saw them in Houston on their first American tour. I remember Bjork messing up a note while singing and making a face. Her voice was so singular. They had an unusual to me at the time stage set up with the drummer off to one side. I also saw Sigur Rós on their first American tour, and when I went to Iceland, people were impressed that I knew about them so early.

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Sun Jan 29 2023
5

Birthday is an amazing song. This album helped spawn the career of the lead singer who wears a swan dress sometimes.

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Sun Apr 09 2023
5

It's weird in a good way. The combination of male and female vocals works well, which does not happen often. Also, they have a cat, a pony, and a dragon in one album - what's not to like?

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Wed Jun 07 2023
5

Years ago I spotted this album in the collections of friends cooler than me. I never heard any of it that I was aware of. When I read that Björk was a lead singer in this band I wasn’t reassured even though there are some Björk works I have very much enjoyed… What I didn’t expect was how much this would sound like The B-52’s! Who’d have thought Björk could be bizarro Kate Pierson, or Einar Örn Benediktsson bizarro Fred Schneider?! This was a lot more fun than I expected, with catchy songs often taking somewhat absurd turns. Good stuff!

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Thu Jun 22 2023
5

NAHHHHHH I WAS LITERALLY GOING TO LISTEN TO THIS WHEN I CAME HOME ANYWAY WHAT THE SUS AHQHJQBNAJIOQOSJSHSBHHSHSHSHHSHS I ONLY FOUND OUT IT WAS ON THE LIST YESTERDAY WHAT A COINCIDENCE OH MY LORD AHJQIJWHWNSNNSJSSJSJJSJS The first song is pretty good and I love the harmonica! Björk's vocals are fantastic (as per usual)! 'Motorcrash' is really good and the chorus is well-performed. Definite 5/5. Excellent soft/alternative rock music. 'Birthday' is pretty good but, despite being the most famous, is not the best. 'Deus' reminds me of 'Venus as a Boy' -- the lyrics more so than the music. Björk is better than Einar, the other lead vocalist. Best songs: 'Motorcrash', 'Delicious Demon', 'Mama', 'Deus'.

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Sat Jul 08 2023
5

Best Song: Birthday. I cannot remember the last time a vocal performance struck me like this. To cover the range - not just of actual notes but of emotions - that she covers in this song is unbelievable. Worst Song: Blue Eyed Pop. This feels like it could be a B-52s song. Give me more Björk. Overall: This is my first exposure to Björk and it is fucking revelatory. I'd heard of her as being a controversial vocalist, and I don't know if she jumps the vocal shark at some point later in her career, but this is incredible. Literally the only downsides of this album are when the male vocalist inserts himself with some random nonsense. Dude, get out of the way. You're blocking Björk.

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Mon Apr 22 2024
5

I imagine a lot of peope come to this hoping to find a lost Bjork album. While her unique voice and contributions are clear, it's better to think of this as a post-punk album by separate band. Anyone who followed the Sugarcubes back in the late 80s must have felt like they discovered something very special.

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Wed Apr 24 2024
5

I loved this. A wild ride. So many great quirky tunes. 4.8/5

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Thu Jan 28 2021
3

Pre-90s Bjoerk. Not too bad, probably better after a few listens.

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Wed May 01 2024
3

I was surprised I liked this as much as I did. Bjork is not usually my cup of tea really. This clangy new wave style is also not usually my favourite haha. On today’s record, I sometimes feel like Bjork is a bit like the 2000s Janis Joplin (Joplin was undeniably ‘better’). Her singing isn’t for everyone but goddamn can she belt it, and she’s so expressive - no fucking autotune on this one haha she is /all OVER the place/ in terms of pitch and timing (no protools grid either haha) and goes from that quivery-totally-out-of-tune pure-emotion noise-delivery to rock-solid-in-tune-in-time every once in a while just for a surprise. I bet she was a riot live in those days. This whole record’s aesthetic is sounding a bit B-52’s to me also

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Sun Aug 29 2021
2

Like a sub standard b-52s. Also byorks singing is fucking annoying. Neil young levels of annoying.

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Wed Jul 27 2022
2

It's kind fo refreshing to hear Bjork without the overworked vocals that lead nowhere that characterise her solo work, only her standard phrasing is still only vaguely interesting. I'm pleased to say that while she's barely emotive, the rhythms are more than barely funky, and plenty playful. An exercise class in quirkiness rather than an elite level performance of it.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
5

I've never heard her sing before. Damn I was missing out. I can see why there was so much love for Birthday.

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Sun Mar 06 2022
5

Really enjoyed this. Bjork is such a force here. Birthday is a real showpiece, just stunning.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
5

An absolute delight. Quirky and funny but seriously good. I want to listen to this a lot.

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Tue Jul 18 2023
5

Björk the screaming sparring angel. So playful and Acid drenched... A fascinating warm and merry band of revellers twirling the skirts of reality - bluegrass and freeform meets dervish singers..... I also liked her on 808 State....

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

I *love* Bjork, and pretty much anything she has done. This is great fun, as well as an interesting view of the early work of a wonderful artist.

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Fri Oct 20 2023
5

Pipes! Base! Drums! This album has it all.

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Wed Nov 29 2023
5

Damn this was really good. I was always interested in listening to more of Bjork. And this was a delightful surprise. I didn't even know she was in this band. Great listen to. Made me want to check out more for sure.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

Incredible! Wonderful! Beautiful!

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Wed Jan 24 2024
5

This was 16th album and the first one I really know, which I find interesting since I know a lot of the albums on the 1001-list. Life's Too Good is a classic album from the 80s and from a time before Björk became famous in the whole world. I grew up with this album and personally, I like the Sugarcubes albums better than what Björk did later. Can recommend it to anyone - a real gem.

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

I bought this when it came out, loved it, and still do. I know people complain about Einar's voice "ruining" it, but for me it's an essential part of the Sugarcubes experience.

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

I jumped on the Sugarcubes as soon as I heard Bjork's vocals, luckily got to see them live in 1990 on their only Australian tour. Fun gig and a great band. Bjork of course would go onto greater things but even here it was evident what a talent she is, doing things with her voice I'd never heard before. Sugarcubes were a proper band though, not just a vehicle for her brand of weird, and the songs here are great.

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Mon Feb 12 2024
5

Great classic pop punk album. It’s fun to listen and hear the seeds of what Bjork would do later.

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Thu Feb 22 2024
5

Put me in a great mood. Definitely going to listen to this one again! Thank you Bjork and I presume the others also contributed

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Sun Apr 14 2024
5

This just sounds like such a fun album to make. Always brings a smile to my face

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Mon May 13 2024
5

YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!! Wore this cassette to shit, I played it so much. Easily one of the best records of all time. Never get tired of it.

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Thu May 16 2024
5

Vivant et irrévérencieux, un parfait contre-point à la voix de Björk, tantôt angélique, tantôt scream queen

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Thu May 23 2024
5

Tbh this is the first time i really liked music with björk in it nothing against her its just not quite my taste but this was amazing i will deffinetely listen a lot more to this album

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Mon Jun 10 2024
5

That's two brilliant and unexpected albums in a row after months of slogging through awful dad rock and jazz. And it's Bjork, showing us how she is and has always been a force to be reckoned with in music. This is fresh and exciting to my ears, even as parts haven't aged well. This is another example of why I persist with this list. And disliking Bjork is big NPC energy. I'm onto you.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

Surprisingly great and entertaining rock album

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Thu May 13 2021
4

Good album some great tracks. Different vocals keep it fresh

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Wed Jul 21 2021
4

La loquita ya venía haciendo de las suyas desde entonces.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

great one, fast and straight to the point. very enjoyable

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this unknown alternative rock band has such an identity in their music.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

Unexpected hit. Bjork's vocals really made the chaos shine. Sounds like a love child between the Cranberries and the B52s.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

80s poppy rock, some songs were great

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Mon May 10 2021
4

This is extremely up my alley, it's some weird upbeat alternative rock stuff with Bjork singing.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

was very chaotic but i kinda liked it. the band björk was in

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Thu Jul 01 2021
4

now this is my style. i can't get enough of björk's vocals. her voice is so expressive and pairs perfectly with the... for lack of better words, spunky, instrumentals. #1 Birthday #2 Motorcrash #3 Delicious Demon

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Sat Jul 31 2021
4

Strange first exposure to Bjork but ok. I love post-punk, and the Sugarcubes do everything right to fill in the checkmarks. It's like if the B-52s went the alt rock route rather than synth-based New Wave route. Bjork's voice sometimes sounds like the Cranberries's lead except Icelandic which is close enough to Irish. Songs are impactful and weird, with my favorites being Birthday and Deus.

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Wed Sep 01 2021
4

really not that bad. 4 is a bit of a stretch but 3 is too little. Will check them out more

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Sun Oct 10 2021
4

The Sugar Cubes were too early. But considering Björk apparently had a record deal when she was all of 11 years old, maybe they were right on time. This is the album No Doubt wished they could have made. And like Gwen Stefani, Björk was too big of a personality to just front some band. Bigger things like swan suits and Spike Jonze videos awaited her. They key track here is "Birthday", a song I listened to so many times that I'm sure my Spotify algorithm exploded.

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Thu Oct 21 2021
4

pretty cool i wish it was longer. love bjorks voice

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Thu Oct 28 2021
4

This album has a fun infectiousness. Bjork sounds right at home in front of a post punk band. Delicious Demon is a sleeper hit. That was so fun!

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

What a voice. Bjork is a revelation and the music and songs are great too. 3.75 🌟

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

-Pretty cool album. Good number of solid tracks. "Delicious Demon" is definitely my favorite -Pretty good. Not mind blowing, but just generally nice tracks with interesting stuff going on

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Fri Nov 19 2021
4

I was about to write a review about how good this sounds by itself but how much it is elevated by the singers performance. Then I realized its Björk so yeah that's suddenly incredibly obvious. This a good one

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

A truly unique take. Interesting to hear a more poppy side of Björk.

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Thu Dec 30 2021
4

Bjork heeft zo een toffe stem! Maakt me helemaal vrolijk! Graaf album!

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Thu Dec 30 2021
4

Deze vind ik leuk! Ga ik nog wel vaker luisteren.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
4

Really enjoyed. Bizarre and fascinating, loved the mischievous feel and rhythms.

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Sun Feb 06 2022
4

Enjoyed this one, different in a good cool edgy way. The Bjork vocals are great

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

Extremely enjoyable. Björk's vocals are incredibly unique.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
4

Iso peukku, positiivinen yllättäjä

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Mon Feb 14 2022
4

Icelandic Post-Punk Pop, now there is a Genre! wonderful debut by the Sugar Cubes, super high octane post-punk pop and dare I say the introduction to the world of the force of nature that is Bjork! wonderful stuff from the band rightfully on the list. Favourites are "MotorCrash" "Birthday" and "Coldsweat" Rightfully on the list here!

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Thu Feb 24 2022
4

I never thought that Björk was actually a member of a band, let alone a post-punk band! Ans she's on fire here, carrying an incredible vocal energy while staying in the post-punk territory. The instrumentals, while generic at some places, are great too. Love the drum beats on some tracks. Overall, with such volcanic vocals and cool instrumentals, this slightly exotic album is equivalent to a little walk in one of my favorite countries.

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