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

Debut

Björk

1993

Debut

Album Summary

Debut is the debut studio album by Icelandic recording artist Björk as an international singer, released in July 1993 by One Little Indian and Elektra Entertainment. It was produced by Björk and Nellee Hooper. It was Björk's first recording following the dissolution of her previous band, the Sugarcubes. The album departed from the rock style of her previous work and drew from an eclectic variety of styles, including electronic pop, house music, jazz and trip hop. Debut received critical acclaim from British music critics, though United States reviews were mixed. It exceeded sales expectations, charting at number two in Iceland, three in the United Kingdom, and 61 in the US. It was certified gold in Canada and platinum in the US, where it remains Björk's best-selling album.Five singles were released from Debut: "Human Behaviour", "Venus as a Boy", "Play Dead", "Big Time Sensuality" and "Violently Happy". All charted in the UK, with only "Human Behaviour", "Violently Happy" and "Big Time Sensuality" charting on dance and modern rock charts in the US.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.43

Votes

4994

Genres

  • Pop
  • Electronica
Reviews
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5

Björk grabs your hand and says “Follow me”. She leads you through The City (which city? Any city. All cities), pausing here and there, at house parties, city gardens, rooftops, office blocks, to show you the essence of that place. She takes you into a closet and whispers into your ear, there’s more to life than this. Every place she shows you has its own unique sound, but the guide is always indisputably Björk; writhing and shapeshifting and impossible to pin down, but in the act of taking you on this tour of The City, you realise through the sights she’s shown you, the things she’s pointed out, that she’s revealed more of herself than any direct confessional would give you.

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5

Fell in love with Bjork when I first saw the Michel Gondry video for "Human Behavior" on MTV when I was 13 years old. She is a true artist who is practically a genre of her own. She bravely follows her eccentric vision wherever it leads her. I have nothing but respect for her and nearly everything she does. Some of the sounds on this album are a bit dated now but man this shit was cutting edge at the time. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of her sonic explorations. Listen to the live version of this album to see a radical reinterpretation of these songs and the true capabilities of her songwriting.

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5

So this is just straight-up as good as everyone says it is. Björk's voice is iconic, of course, but I'd never listened to a full project and therefore had never heard the pure range. I don't mind albums that veer all over the place, style-wise, but it's usually a rather personal enjoyment. The transitions between songs here are just objectively good, even when they are between crooning and live-recorded club tracks.

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5

Brilliant. Can’t think of many better DEBUTS

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5

I adore this album. I've never heard anything like it; it was so different and probably the only taste breaker I've listened to that I actually enjoyed. Bjork is able to fuse genres like nobody's business and make something entirely new: something of the Bjork genre. As an album, this record flows beautifully, with a perfect slow song to end this wild trip. Bjork!

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5

This feels completely unique, which is one of the best qualities an album can have. The range of influences is so wide there's bits of pop, electronica and jazz. Some of the tracks are avant-garde ballards and some sound like house tracks written by poncey art students. All the different elements are all linked by Björk's really distinctive voice, which provides a nice consistency to the album. I can see some people turned off by her vocals but once I got used to them I found them very enjoyable. I will listen to this again.

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5

What an unbelievable energy right from the start and boy does it carry through the album. It's hard to believe this album came out in 1993; it holds up incredibly well. That's due in equal parts to Bjork's voice, the wonderful instrumentals, and the interesting variety between songs.

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5

For those who weren't there at the time, it's a little difficult describing how fresh and simply "out there" Björk's *Debut* felt when it came out in 1993. The difficulty is twofold: first, even though the former Sugarcube member drew heavily on the budding UK dance and electro scene for her early sonic explorations, that idiosyncratic voice of hers and its oh-so-Icelandic mannerisms were so powerful, so unique, that they could transcend any of the clichés picked out of her toy box to build the different soundscapes of her first solo effort. It's a voice everyone is familiar with now, whether you're a fan or not. But *at the time*, it was just something unheard of, even if you were a little aware of the Sugarcubes somehow. And it didn't even matter if some discrete parts of this first album already sounded somewhat *dated*, perhaps willingly, as with those tongue-in-cheek UK-club-scene inspired titles such as "Crying", "Big Time Sensuality" or "Violently Happy"--not to mention that naked cover of the cheesy Broadway novelty standard "Like Someone In Love", with only a simple harp to support Björk's extravagant ad-libs recorded in one take (small blunders included). The sheer originality of that voice, its harmonic instincts, along with its crystal-clear, youthful, Lolitaesque timbre--all of this could break through any wall, champagne glass or heart in the close vicinity. And just as importantly, that voice could sell any sort of music it chose as a backdrop, as long as the latter was decently written. So, in a way, it didn't really matter who Björk made this album with, even though Nellee Hooper did an excellent job co-writing half of the tunes and arranging all of them--his production chops here fortunately drawing more from an overall Massive Attack-level of quality than any of that hackneyed stuff he was responsible for in Soul II Soul. The Sugarcubes had just been a training run for Björk. Now she was embracing a promising future, being free to choose her collaborators as she saw fit for whatever was on her mind. Speaking of the future... The *other* difficulty when it comes to a retrospective take of *Debut* is to try to ignore everything that came after so as to assess it on its own terms. It's a near-impossible task. *Post*, *Homogenic* and *Vespertine* were genres of their own, the moments Björk burned her ships behind her for good so as to never turn back (if one of those albums is missing in this list of 1001 albums, it's just a crime). Those records are so striking and wonderful that *Debut* is a litlle pale in comparison, as flashy and eccentric as it first looked when it came out. Still, a large taste of the good things to come is still present in this record, and, unsurprisingly, those songs are the ones holding out better today. "Human Behaviour" is a quirky existential hit, as if Björk was a toddler playing with a Swiss clock, winding and rewinding it until the right joyful noise comes out. And I could listen to that bouncy timbal-sort-of-sound pattern for years, just as I could listen to Talvin Singh's lush, strings-and-tabla arrangements in "Venus As A Boy" for decades. This deceptively simple and tender song about an androgynous lover, one of Björk's greatest tunes, indeed marks a turning point where, for the first time ever, maybe, so-called "world music" was not used as a conceptual gimmick, but as a fresh, spontaneous impulse to fully embrace the sounds of this small blue planet, as varied as those sounds are. Björk is truly the first "global" artist to ever become a superstar. And more than any PR plan or conceptual blurb attached to what she was doing, this philosophy was translated into the music first and foremost.  For all its minor shortcomings, *Debut* is actually a very rare case in music history, one where an artist manages to push the enveloppe while still retaining their spontanity. The results of this rare combination are both playful and organic. "One Day", for instance, expertly uses a William Orbit style of ambient techno to paint the picture of an elated, wide-eyed messiah dreaming about a hopeful future. The song *is* naive, there's no arguing about that. And yet, it never makes you want to snarl or smirk, so enticing it is. Utopia is in our hands, you just need to believe in it. As for "Aeroplanes" and "The Anchor Song", they channel decades of jazz flourishes into their fabric and turn them into mere children's games, as easy on the ear as they are evocative on the mind. "The Anchor Song", in particular, is a miniature masterpiece, its barebones horn section displaying a minimalistic poetry that is all more fitting given the subject matter: Björk can only feel at home while bathing in an ocean, a paradox for many, but not for the romantic she is at heart. Maybe for certain cynical types out there, this sounds a trifle like a Sublime101 course. But it's a lesson the Icelandic songwriter will refine again and again in the future, starting with "Hyperballad" on the next record. It all starts there, with this track. And even before that, *Debut* remains a fountain of youth and potentialities, even today. *Here* is the deep lesson that makes the album an essential listen for both young and old souls of this world. Births, beginnings, eclosions, take-offs--you name them--have rarely felt any better than on this one. [Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 989 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 4 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 5 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (as I think many others are more important): 3]

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4

What an incredible debut from a totally unique and groundbreaking artist. There was never anything like Bjork before, and there will never be another Bjork

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4

Compared to the Bjork album 1001 sent us, this one jumps around a lot more. There are quite a few house tracks, which surprised me, I guess I had dropped out of the club scene pre-93. Anyway, I think they've held up well. Bringing in Oliver Reed to do the saxophone arrangements on Aeroplane and the Anchor Song was very brave - and refreshing, as I was tiring of the electro beats by the end of the album. The jazz-standard cover, on the other hand, demonstrates that her voice works best with her own (weird) material. Speaking of her own material, Venus as a Boy is just an epic track - the production, her voice and lyrics come together perfectly. Human Behaviour is up there too. A great debut.

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5

Classic, but Post is better. Human behaviour bops!

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5

Truly what separates Björk from the pack is her haunting vocal quality and endless soundscapes. It feels comfortably Claustrophobic in the way the most people talk about space.

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5

I love her. She connects with me on a visceral level, beyond what can be put in words. So raw and honest. Comforted me when I was having a major crisis, and though it’s a long time past, the connection lingers. Just so grateful for what she gifts to the world

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5

She bust her pussy trying to belt out some of these songs. Fair play to her, I bet she's still bleeding. I know I am.

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4

A great debut, but quite a bit outshined by her other works

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4

Great album, still holds up today in my opinion

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4

The app claims the day to day selection is random and this weekend's two albums validate this as we moved from Ice-T's Original Gangster on Saturday to Björk's Debut on Sunday. I had my 8 year old twins so could spin OG only when they were on another floor. Of course one quietly returned and said "Hey Dad: Why did they say O.G? Those are my initials." My initial response: "You're not an every day type prankster. You're O.G. The original gangster." I then dove to stop the playback before the next "motherfucker" lit up the lyrics. On Sunday, as if the angels made a special delivery, Bjork arrives for my two cherubs and me. Her voice is soothing. Intra-album genre hopping sometimes drives me nuts but on this album it works. I can't say too much about the lyrics since, except when they were simple, they were hard to understand. That actually is a harp on "Like Someone in Love" It's not often that I say "harp" and don't mean harmonica. The tabla playing, courtesy of Talvin Singh in the last minute of Come to Me, is a nice touch. Thanks to 1001 for half the weekend's selections. Enjoying music has a lot to do with what you're in the mood for, so I might have rated Bjork higher than I would next weekend.

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3

This is a lesson in why you shouldn't read the less favourable reviews of an album before diving in. Perhaps becuase we are predisposed to focus on the less positive aspects of, well, everything, it was difficult to shake the thoughts of the most negative reviews while listening to this album. In particular the 2 star Rolling Stones review published by Tom Graves on September 2, 1993. After hinting at the public excitement that Bjork had finally broken free of her too-arty-for-the-art-world band, The Sugarcubes, Graves lamented that, "Producer Nellee Hooper has sabotaged a ferociously iconoclastic talent with a phalanx of cheap electronic gimmickry. Björk’s singular skills cry out for genuine band chemistry, and instead she gets Hooper’s Euro art-school schlock — and we do, too." Despite being a long-time fan of Bjork's work, the phrase "cheap electronic gimmickry" stuck with me, along with the other detailed descriptions given for the somewhat mishmash of ideas on the album. There's still a lot to love about this album, and, MUST you hear before you die? Absolutely... If for no other reason that to get a glimpse into what reviewers might say about many popular albums if you strip away an artists current or potential fame. How many positive reviews are written with a hedging-our-bets mentality so that they are not looked upon too unfavourably when the album they're about to give 2 stars ends up becoming a classic?

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2

Fairly significant problems with tempo and a too-frequent langourous drift that fails to deepen mood the longer it goes undermine the themes of empowerment and big time sensuality. But I was pleasantly surprised by the sense of wholeness and frequently tickled by witty musical punctuation drawn from an ambitious range of instruments. So while I don't doubt her intelligence concerning human behaviour, I'm less convinced by her ability to turn it into music that fully engages me in between the puctuation. Makes sense that it's on the list though. No quibbles from me.

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5

One of the greats

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5

my mam bought me this album for my 14th birthday! it's incredible

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5

Stone cold classic. Bring on the new shit!

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5

Play Dead is such a powerful song. Loved every minute of this album. My first 5 star rating!

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5

Smart, if moderately pretentious.

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5

always three steps ahead

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5

Great stuff, side 2 especially

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5

bueno, pero a ratos muy ecléctico, así que en dosis pequeñas está muy bien

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5

for some reason I was obsessed with this album when I was like 15 and forgot about it until now. really fun to listen to and honestly sounds timeless. 9

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5

Loved this. Not listened in full before despite seeing her live twice and moaning about the lack of early stuff.

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5

Legendary

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5

Had no idea how comforting this music would be

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5

I already knew my score for this before even listening specifically for this project... one of my favourite albums of all time. The atmosphere throughout is unbelievable.

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5

I’d forgotten all this album. Great songs

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5

Banger

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5

really need to listen to more Björk. she and this album are both incredible❤️‍🔥

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5

Brilliant debut album. Unique voice, great production and arrangement, good songs throughout, lots of variation. Loved it.

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5

A joy to listen to this album in full again after having a few on various playlists.

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5

Love it.

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5

I always thought Bjork was hard to listen to, like her music just was just like. interesting but not easy to enjoy casually. This was really fun tho!

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5

I had only a vague recollection of Björk when this came up, so I was excited to check DEBUT out. I loved "Human Behavior" - especially the drumbeats that drive it. Definitely have heard this song before and liked it. "Crying" seemed familiar as well, so now I'm starting to wonder if I have heard this before, but I liked the song. "Venus as a Boy" is great! One of my favorites on the album. Such a lush and interesting song. "There's More to Life Than This" had a great beat and some fun backup vocals. I loved the live thing, then in the middle when a door slams and she sounds like she's off singing in some other room. The harp song "Like Someone in Love" was very interesting and sweet. A lush song that sounds both modern and classic. "Big Time Sensuality" sounds like a dance track, with a very unusual lyrical accompaniment. I particularly noted how cohesive the song is despite the music and the lyrics at times feeling like they are coming from two different worlds. Great song! I liked the rest of the album except “The Anchor Song”. In my worst-case scenario I feared the album might have all been like this, but fortunately this was the only one. Otherwise I really enjoy the mix of electronic and traditional instruments that this album brings together. Björk has created a unique, eclectic, largely listenable album. Amazing, fun, unique!

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5

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! This is so great! Listening to this just felt really good. Loved every track but special shout-out to Human Behavior, Like Someone in Love, and Big Time Sensuality. So good! Eleven stars out of five. ***********

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5

I have very limited familiarity with the music of Björk. This was a real treat! The variety of musical styles made for a very interesting and fun listening experience!

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5

I've had this CD since it came out in 1993 and I listened to it quite often back in the day. It was fun to get reacquainted with it after at least a decade. I love its creativity with styles, genres, instruments, and so on. I love a pop song with prominent timpani drums, and I've always loved the sound and feel of "Human Behaviour." I always liked the way "There's More to Life Than This" sounds as it's described on the CD, "Recorded live at the Milk Bar toilets." "Big Time Sensuality," though, was my favorite song on the album, if not the year 1993, and I played it over and over. It's different to review an album you've already been in love with. I was so glad to spend some time with it again today!

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5

Masterpiece

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5

Love it when an album opens up with an absolute ripper. Still sounds fresh, quite a feat (except for some of those club beats maybe). Beautiful, powerful, creative songs an excellent album.

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5

Loved it. Junk was so weird. That track with all the spacial effects was wild.

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5

Yes! Björk is my favorite solo artist of all time and while this isn't my favorite record of hers it's still an excellent debut

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5

Dieses Jahr schon im Rahmen der Björk Week gehört, vermutlich mein Fav von ihr.

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5

The handful of Björk songs I've heard over the past few decades have always stood out because of her signature voice and always interesting and unusual melody writing. I really cannot explain why I never owned an album of hers or made the effort to listen to more of her music; my best guess is that for most of my listening life, I never leaned into much "electronica" (using the term very broadly here) so I probably had lumped her work into that category. This is my first-ever listen-through of a Björk album, and in keeping with my intention to listen openly to each album as it comes up in my rotation, I've done that with this album. It's fantastic. I am still a novice music theorist and amateur early-stage musician, but I think my studies have truly influenced (in a very positive way) how I hear music at this point in my life. It makes what she's done on this album all the more intriguing to me. Such gutsy use of melody, personal delivery of the vocals, and a powerful voice. The underlying harmonies, beats, and rhythms from the electronic music in each song work superbly with what she's doing. My only criticism is that listening to the album straight through, the music started to sound too similar to itself and kind of melded together. I will listen to her music more often now that I know I like it, but I know I'll prefer her songs to come up in a shuffle or playlist mixed with songs from other artists. Her songs really stand out a lot more noticeably in that context. An insanely talented writer, performer, producer, and artist.

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5

2021-12-16

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5

All the good things

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5

I didn't really like the Sugarcubes' music, and therefore wasn't expecting much of this solo debut. Which simply meant the surprise was even more pleasant, with such a variety of music and styles (proving that we should even allow for songs recorded in toilets, while the next song uses harps, and the following song is heavy on the electronics). What an excellent, cohesive, album! And what a voice!

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5

Every piece is unique, and while not for all tastes, her love songs are where she excels. "Come to Me" is gorgeous. Added, with pleasure.

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5

Classic

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5

Круто!

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5

Iconic, still sounding fresh from ‘93

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5

Great sounds, totally unique voice and composition

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5

Sui generis. What a stunning debut from an utterly distinctive artist. It really feels like it lays the foundation of all of her work to follow. For a record that came out in 1993, Debut feels surprisingly contemporary. Some of the more straightforward house numbers don’t pack as much of a punch in the context of the more experimental tracks, but the highlights are absolutely breathtaking. Venus as a Boy is just so beautiful and off-kilter. Not having spent a lot of time with Bjork recently, and never having listened to this album before, I was surprised how much I vibed with this. Rating: 4.5/5 Favourite tracks: Human Behavior, Venus as a Boy, Come to Me, The Anchor Song

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5

Bjork is an artist with a capital A, and her music always takes you on a journey on a unique combination of musical influences. It's avant-garde at times, but also poppy. Experimental throughout, but also simple and palatable. This is the album I'm most familiar with from Bjork and I'll have to use it as a diving board to discover more of her music over time. Debut is stunning and I'll be coming back to it for years. Fav Tracks: Big Time Sensuality, Venus as a Boy, Human Behaviour, Come to Me and Like Someone in Love

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5

Having not delved into Bjork's music before this listen I was amazed by how accessible this album is. Not only is Bjork's voice stunning the album itself, while being experimental, has a sense of charm and innovation to it. It feels like a pop album that pulls all other genres into it (particularly jazz). Loved the album so much that it is going to lead me into a deeper dive into her music both before and after this piece. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great entry point into her music. It was a joy to listen to. Favorite songs: Human Behavior, Venus as a Boy, Come to Me, Like Someone to Love. Would give it a 4.5/5 but seeing as I can't give half points I will rate it a 5. Well deserved.

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5

My little Icelandic princess. Björk is everything I want and need in a chanteuse. She's not trying to be weird just for the sake of being weird. She paints almost a theatrical experience with every song. What I love about this album is it's almost like each song is a different genre yet it all flows together as a cohesive album. Actual rating is probably a 4.5, but I've listened to "Birthday" so many times since I got The Sugarcubes album on here that my gut suggests I bump it up. Who knew that Björk was being held back by The Sugarcubes?

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5

:(

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5

Amazing album. I have never listened to Björk before, but now I'm very interested on diving deep in her discography.

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5

Did not anticipate to fall in love with a 90's electric pop /jazz / house album from an Icelandic woman but this album is amazing. I don't know how to describe it other than atmospheric, each song like transported me to a scene in my head. This song had me sitting in an old 1940s Jazz bar sitting by myself observing the other people at the bar and listening to conversations. It really feels like Bjork just went to different areas and scenes and just sung off the cuff into a microphone. I can 100% understand if this doesn't appeal to some though, the experience was to rich for though

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5

I love it so much.

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5

I love everything about this album

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5

Expectations are an interesting thing. I was expecting something weird that would probably get 3 stars. I expected her voice to get annoying. There was a bit of weird, the correct amount of weird. I found the first few songs enjoyable: quirky, clever, upbeat. But all she was doing was luring me in to the stunning finish. All of a sudden I felt so much emotion. Each song in that second side is a mini masterpiece, a combination of vocal and musical excellence. Her voice! The variety of songs, complete with a potential James Bond theme. This has made 1001 albums worth it.

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5

This was evolutionary when it was released. It still is!

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5

I quite enjoyed the last bjork album we had too but this one was just so much more full of life and made it a lot easier to listen to

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5

Početak bjorkicing prolaska five album testa bar šta se mene tiće😊

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5

Siempre será mi disco preferido de Björk y uno de mis discos de cabecera. Ese Human Behaviour es maravilloso.

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5

What an impressive debut! Really unique and individual take on things. Beautiful tone and delivery with zany yet poetic lyrics. The production has aged really well, orchestral trip hop with techno and trance beats throughout. I know Björk reasonably well but would not have listened through to this with being promoted. Very glad it came up.

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5

I love this album. I remember when I first heard it as a teenager and it blew my mind because it just sounded so different to everything else. Bjork's voice mixed with the big bad but slightly muted beats just sounds so good. LOVE IT. Human Behaviour and There's More to Life Than This are standouts.

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5

bjorn apart

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5

Violently Happy.

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5

really enjoyed this, great mix of musical styles but was super listenable throughout

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5

I listened to this album a lot growing up. Bjork remains one of my absolute favorite singers of all time. There are some great songs on this record, some serious and introspective ("Crying," "Venus as a Boy," " Come to Me") and some a bit silly and whimsical ("Human Behavior," "Big Time Sensuality," "There's More To Life Than This"). The minimalist club sound mixed with Bjork's unique soft, at times wailing voice creates an incredibly influential and unforgettable sound. The less clubby one ("Like Someone in Love") is a cute yet powerful jazz standard cover that, in spite of its outlierlyness, fits right in. It's funny -- the generator has been primarily giving me hard and classic rock music lately, all of which I've promptly been giving 4's and 5's as I feel obligated to (they're "Classics"). But none of them give me quite the same feeling that Bjork and this album give me. Every song hits. Her voice is calming but not in an easy-listening, boring, simple way. The songs build and evolve. Though not the first, the last, or the most influential in doing so, Bjork definitely brought experimental house music to the mainstream. And, like I said above, Bjork said that she pursued working on this album after the realization that traditional guitar-driven music was beginning to feel stagnant and limiting. The mix of jazz, trip hop, ambient, and house on this record definitely feels new, even listening to it nearly thirty years later.

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5

Giving it her all as always, a wonderful debut album.

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5

I know this album pretty well. I like it and I like Bjork, I am a fan. I haven't listened all the way through for a while, so let's see how it sounds now. Well what strikes me know is as well as all the music - which I always loved, the lyrics are great e.g., There's more to Life Than This, what a beautiful vibe. Surging irrepressible emotion is never far from the surface as in Violently Happy, sometimes it makes her feel like the alien outsider as in Human Behaviour, sometimes pain and pleasure are mixed up (as in the striking finale Play Dead), but the main mood is intimate and sensual in Venus As a Boy, Big Time Sensuality, One Day, Come to Me. It's got a lot of London, but also lots of Iceland too: oceans, volcanoes, fires and jumping off high things. It takes courage to enjoy it. Lovely quirky musical choices nothing formulaic or obvious, but often inspired. With hindsight it's clear that she was choosing to make something poppy and by her standards accessible. Love her unique voice, unique melodies, arrangements that mix classical with pop/dance music, She often takes an unpromising set of ingredients to come up with something entirely new but somehow delicious like a Michelin-starred chef. I think she's a genius. I got completely obsessed when this came out, and if anything the next one (Post) was even better.

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5

Gosh dang do I love this. Each song is so well crafted and incorporates different aspects of electronica, jazz, hip-hop, and world music. Such a interesting and entertaining listen. 9/10

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5

Heard before: no This album was stunning. So weird, so varied, so catchy. Will definitely revisit.

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5

Did not expect it to be as good as it was

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5

Easily one of my top 50 albums. The quirkiness and uniqueness of Björk has always set them apart from other artists. Been a fan of this album from the very first listen.

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5

No creo que haya una mala canción en este disco. Mucho más dancy y silly de lo que recordaba. Pero creo que Bjork siempre es más silly de lo que recuerdo en mi cabeza. Tiene ese feel de asociación libre tan Bjork que le da tanta fuerza a las cosas más tontas. Aeroplane me recuerda a Arthur Lyman. Lo que me recordó al maravilloso Flash Strap, que ahora es private y lo acabó de descubrir. Genuinamente con el corazón roto. Bjork es an OOO-queen. Agenciamientos y devenires. Casi una trampa. Es fantástico. Sorprendido de que aún escucharlo me haga sentir que hay muy muy poco que pueda comunicar exactamente esa alegría extrañada de este disco.

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5

One of the best debut albums in history (pun intended), the transition between genres is so smooth is unbelievable. This album is full of iconic songs, none of them feel like filler or out of place, and they're all amazing largely thanks to Björk's breathtaking voice and energy.

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5

Innovative, a new sound, fantastic artist wo has started her journey

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5

Awesome. Still my favorite album of hersv

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5

ISSA FRIGGIN MASTAPEEZ

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5

Love it. Another one that's already in the collection. Just an incredible album that put her in the firmament from the start (of her solo career. Sugarcubes were pretty cool too). Every track is a highlight, from the cinematic Play Dead, to the jerky Venus as a Boy, but There's More To Life Than This is a crazed high concept masterpiece.

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4

I honestly wasn't sure if I liked this album when I listened to it. There are parts that are grating, but other parts that go HARD. She really has a way of communicating pain with her voice. I ended up saving quite a few tracks from this, so it must've been good?

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4

You need to be in a certain state of mind to listen to this album, but when you are..... It's perfect. 7.5/10

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4

Really diverse set of songs, and not off the wall weird just unique

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4

Connor: I've never actually heard any Björk so far so I've been really impressed with this album! All I knew of her was her reputation as a little bit of a 'quirky' singer but this album is a lot more dancy and catchy than I thought, and it goes really well with her singing style. Imogen: yeah it’s my favourite Björk album! really like Human Behaviour and Venus as a Boy

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4

It took me a minute to decide how I feel about this since it's so avant-garde and weird, but I decided I really like it. I think it's really well-done, and her voice is gorgeous. Venus as a Boy is really good, and I probably wouldn't listen to this toooo often but I'm gonna save it on Spotify. Four stars!!!

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4

still amazed at her voice and creativity after so many years and one of the first and best concerts I did go to in Milano

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4

Incredible start to a great career

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4

The complexity of melodies and harmonies cannot be overstated. A very palatable level of weird.

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4

What a powerhouse of a debut album! Every song is good, and there's such a wide range of sounds and styles. Some songs have a disco feel to them, like Big Time Sensuality. 4/5

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4

A classic I loved revisiting.

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4

A bit strange for me, but great early electro pop!

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4

a real London record! it's fun to think of bjork as a hot young thing running around the city, maybe saying "fuck John Major" to anyone who will listen. fav track: like someone in love

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4

Not bad at all. Have heard many things about her but never really get music. There were some great songs on this album

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4

Very fun album, I absolutely loved Björk's vocals in this record.The instrumentals where good, I preferred the first half of the album rather than the second.

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4

Can hear so much Robyn, Rosin Murphy, Kimbra etc. Loved Crying and Play Dead is absolute perfect closing track - what a voice

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4

Fav: Venus as a Boy, Like Someone in Love, Come to Me, The Anchor Song

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4

Love, love, love this album. One of my favorites by Bjork and have listened to it for decades.

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4

whew🥵

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4

First couple of songs are pretty good, but alot of it blends together and seem pretty same-y

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4

Björk: 1993 Debut: I was fucked up listening to it. Not bad.

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4

I was expecting weird Björk, but this album was more conventional. It was even ... danceable.

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4

Cool, dark vibes

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4

such an interesting song writer. a great fusion of jazz, pop, avant-garde, and dance/club sounds

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4

Tasty as tubed squid

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4

so unique and diverse fave song - there’s more to life than this

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4

The more I listen to it, the more I like it. Vocals end up being charming and not too harsh to listen to, while her songwriting and musical vision are strong. I'd say 8 right now but it may bump up even more if I listen to more Bjork.

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4

It surprised me it was very experimental in places, straightforward in others. Surprised by the amount of dance music in it.

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4

Liked this a lot more than I remembered liking it at the time.

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4

Debut is definitely showing its age, but it does contribute more to the Bjork playlist I have than her more recent works. Big Time Sensuality was remixed a bunch and is pretty evocative of house music at the time- simple repeating baseline and then some woman singing some nonsense over it. Human Behaviour is my favorite track, Vesus as a Boy was used in Luc Besson's Leon.

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4

Loved it

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4

Pretty fun! Loved her voice. A 7 or 8 for me

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4

Years since I listened to this (on tape probably). Stands up very well all in all and was good to listen to the less known songs again.

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4

Closest to a 5 so far....4.5!!

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4

A generous 7 rounded up

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4

Great to finally listen to this album from start to finish. Very eclectic.

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4

I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan of Bjork, but I enjoyed this album and respect the creativity/originality and her identity as an artist. This is also a landmark album for the entire electronic music genre in terms of permeating the mainstream. 7.5/10

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4

Very enjoyable. the singles are fantastic. I didn't have time to enjoy all of it, though. But I have this on vinyl.

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4

All the bangers. Didn’t realise they were all off of one album. A bit annoyed it’s taken me this long to listen to a Bjork album in full, especially this one.

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4

Couldn’t get into it at first (singles aside) but tried again cooking dinner. Enjoyed it much more. Very good - liked the toilet song, especially.

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4

Catchy, but also weird.

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4

Atypische electro-pop. Ik kende wel een paar liedjes en al bij al een goed album

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4

Lovely wjork

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4

Love it

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4

Ich hatte das anspruchsvoller erwartet. Kommt in Teilen ja schon so ein bisschen provokant diskomäßig daher. Aber auch leicht uns ironisch. Also gutes album

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4

Viel besser hörbar als gedacht. Man kann nachvollziehen, wieso das Album so gehypt ist!

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4

Crying Venus as a Boy Theres More To Life Than This Aeroplane

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4

Very impressive, more danceable than I was expecting, bouncy good fun.

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4

Hot damn. There is something so pure about Bjork's music -- a mix of percussion, and melody fueled by vocals. All of it feels like its walking a tightrope between really profound music and a total garbage fest, and I could see either opinion being totally valid. I really liked this album, and although it's probably not a crowd pleaser I think everyone should listen if they have the time.

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4

I think one or two of the songs drag on a bit towards the end, but the sound still feels pretty fresh, and it's hard to dislike the artist that inspired most of the music I listen to. Also Bjorks voice is interesting af, it's a nice mix of feeling ethereal and then occasionally she comes in with these guttural growls.

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4

Kind of liked a few songs. Others were weird, like "There's more to life than this".

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4

false

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4

Good for dancing! Liked the fast songs more than the slow ones. Just the right amount of weird

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4

Upbeat and dancy

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4

This is great, a party album. theres even a part where it sounds like she's walks out of a house party. No one sings like Bjork

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4

Already heard this before, but a well done album

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4

A treat of an album. There are dichotomous moments of Bjork's perspective in the lyrics: some that feel so personal and directed, and then others so grand and larger than life. "There's More to Life Than This" exemplifies that dichotomy perfectly. An album that flips between techno-pop and avant-garde poetry shouldn't work as well as this does; it's fun, bolstering and beautiful, much like Bjork herself.

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4

verfrissend

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4

Creative

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4

Actually liked this. not my taste but a good listen

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4

She's great!

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4

Classic.

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4

Not really my style. Songs are interesting. Favourites: "There Is More to Life Than This", "Like Someone In Love", "Play Dead"

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4

Didn't like at the time but so now

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4

Bjork is weird I'll be honest. There is some really interesting stuff happening. Felt like Bjork took me places, one minute we are in a city street, the other in a bar down town. Then I'm like in her apartment, just Bjork and myself, and she's slamming around a tambourine. Did I fall in love with her? probably so. It's a dope album and is going to get another few listens for sure.

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4

Also now checking out The Sugarcubes.

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4

A stunning debut. Venus as a boy is a song for the ages.

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4

This is a hard one to rate, especially with so little time to sit with it. The first half was inconsistent for me, but everything from One Day to the end was fantastic. I think it will just barely earn its fourth star for me, but really this album is done a disservice by trying to take it all in for one sitting/one day. But oh well, time marches on.

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4

This was a very interesting album to listen to, and it took about 3-4 times through it to appreciate it. Chaotic but good music, soulful vocals. Way out of my normal listening genres. 3.8/5

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4

Soft 4 stars. Very interesting... almost every track was a different style. Some songs like the anchor song are growers, while a track like human behavior is an obvious hit. The album remains strong unlike some on this list that fade away into repetition on the second half

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4

Expertly assembled and a great show for a debut album. Very gay which isn’t a bad thing.

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4

This is probably my 4th or 5th favorite Bjork album but it's still great. A nice variety of style but some of it does sound a little dated. The songs get re-worked a bit live and don't sound that way. "Human Behavior" and "Venus as a Boy" are probably my favorites. I always liked the production in "There's more to life than this" when she leaves the club.

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4

A beautiful voice for a beautiful debut album. Very emotional tone and creative tracks.

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4

pretty good ass album. ‘come to me’ was so nice. thanks björk. 4.5

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4

Great debut album and definitely original.

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4

One of the few albums I'll ever increase a rating *because* of the vocals, because Björk is one of the most unique vocalists I've ever heard. This would simply be a completely different - and likely boring - album if any other person in the world was the vocalist. Hard to describe - it's not just her voice, it's in the way she sings the songs in a manner that's at times arrhythmic or disjointed, as if it were layered on top of the music as a separate entity. Which sounds like it wouldn't work, but it completely does. The music itself is mildly interesting and might not be on its own but after many listens (and to be fair I did have this album when it was released, so there have been many listens!) the music seems to become part of Björk. Meaning I can't imagine it not being joined at the hip with her vocals - it all just fits. I'm neither much of a dance nor electronic music aficionado but again - the voice jumps right out and grabs your ears and never lets go which for me makes this album transcend boundaries. It's unique and for that it's a keeper and worthy of classic status. 8/10 4 stars

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4

A great debut that starts off strong and fades as the album wears on. Bjork was at the forefront of electronic music in the 90's, but the album devolves into softer tones in the later tracks. Overall, a good album but it feels a bit disjointed relative to her later work.

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4

House tracks + bjork's patent singing. Great listen, but gets a bit repetitive and old by the end.

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4

Дебют даёт понять, что нас ждёт еще большее раскрытие потенциала этой уникальной певицы. Альбом получился экспериментальным, шероховатым, и образ на обложке с приглушённым оттенком это идеально демонстрируют.

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4

She was surprisingly dull when I saw her live. Big costume, but just didn't do anything for me on the day. I was hot and hungover in Barcelona though. Much better here. If it was a footballer, it'd be Jack Grealish. Pretty good, but I'd imagine very annoying. Incredible calves.

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4

I was extremely fond of Bjork's Vespertine, so I was looking forward to what she'd do here on her first album. I will say that her compositions are beautifully arranged with an eye for fantastic production. She is one-of-a-kind in what she is creating and I think that's fantastic. There is a particularly interesting bit in live track There's More to Life Than This where Bjork seemingly takes the microphone offstage to the back and continues to sing along to the now-muffled instrumental. before going right back out. Incredible! Although I don't love this as much as I loved Vespertine, I think Debut is a great record. Deserving of a place on the list, no doubt.

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4

For me, the rating for Debut:Post:Homogenic used to be "3:4:5", and I had not listened to Debut for 25 years or so. I still think Homogenic is stronger, but Debut sounded fresh and was much better than I had expected (even without the 5* bonus track Play Dead)

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4

Really enjoyed this one, quite unlike anything I've heard before

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4

Love the jazz and trip hop influences. I find her music incredibly interesting but not always pleasing. Don’t miss Play Dead, a single “from this album,” but not released until the bonus track version. That and Anchor Song are my favorites.

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4

I put this record on to do dishes and cook dinner. It played through twice and I didn’t stop dancing. (I skipped Like Someone in Love the second go-round. ) Good stuff that I had completely forgotten about. How could I forget about Björk, a defining artist of my generation? I’m putting this back into my rotation. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

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4

Could this be one of the best debut albums of all time? I wouldn't be surprised. Just so strong from the start ('Human Behaviour' is still a masterpiece) and it continues throughout.

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4

It's all about Bjork. The first show from the Icelandic artist

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4

Ooh! Was a bit nervous for this one (despite really liking Vespertine) but was digging most of the tracks. I didn't really know she had a bit of a dance/electropop feel. I honestly can't find a particular "fault" with this album, but I also can't quite give it a 5 just based on enjoyment / merit. Regardless, this is a pretty damn good first album.

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4

I always thought Bjork was for pretentious gilmore girl fans, but this was a really nice album. Now I think I may be the pretentious one here.

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4

Already on my favorites list

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4

Hi: Venus As a Boy, Violently Happy Lo: There's More to Life Than This Charming and sassy, this breakout Sugarcube front lady's signature other-worldly breathy vocals and driving beats or crooning orchestras or whatever else Bjork feels like throwing at you, because she do what she want. It's those curveballs that make Bjork's catelog so diverse and interesting, even almost 30--*THIRTY*-- years later.

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4

Know it. Love it. Nice to listen to it twice yesterday!

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4

I've listened to this album many times already. It's still her third best album though.

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4

Not her best but a very good album.

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4

electronic sound. Human behavior good song, upbeat, dance type beats.

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4

I remember a lot of singles, she was very vogue at the time. Album is very good, it’s still a test of time even in 2021 it still sounds pretty good and fairly modern.

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4

She belongs in her own genre. There were a lot of interesting things going on without ever straying to far into weirdness for its own sake. Lot of fun and a pretty incredible creative effort. One or two duds that keep this out of 5 star territory for me but it's pretty close.

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4

Nahezu perfektes Debut. Clubbig ist’s geworden und sagenhaft gut gealtert. Massive Attack klingt mal durch, aber auch spätere Blur Genetik („Human Behaviour“) wird vorweggenommen. Einziges Björk Album, das ich mag, dann aber so richtig. 4.4

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4

So nice that someone finds the uniqueness of Bjork and shares with the world.

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4

Prefs: Human Behaviour, Crying, Venus as a Boy, Big Time Sensuality, One Day, Aeroplane, Come To Me, Violently Happy Moins pref: Like Someone In Love

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4

7.2

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4

Pretty chill, a little emotional second half of album

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4

enjoyed.

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4

I'm more a fan of her second album but still, Bjork's debut is one of the best debut albums I know about.

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4

I didn't realized I had heard "Human Behavior" two other places -- one in a jazz cover album, and two, sampled in a Hieroglyphics song. Also, I haven't listened to Bjork much before, but I like her tone and feel a lot.

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4

Aeroplane If you ever got to call it by the name, you even name it as it must be. Terms in a conditional form, debuting as almost 3 decades ago, there she goes shouting and playing random rhythm trying to be crazy and understandable at the same time. If you're not into alternative music or maybe you can't quit the classics and get out of the mainstream media, there's a bridge between those 2 genres. It's a breakthrough, revolutionary and confusing standard, those elements summed up in a record itself taking credit and debit in somewhat created to begin. B

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4

Love this. At times passionate, always experimental. Unique voice, Bjork does things that no other singer can. Can understand why people wouldn't embrace this - but I'm all for it. Adore the mix of electronica.

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4

Great DEBUT ;) album here. Björk is such a cool singer and musician and along with a well rounded discography has a great style of beautiful, delicate and manic energy. It's not as good as Post (which is my personal favourite of hers) and Vespertine (the other Björk album I've reviewed so far on this site), but the quality is still great. Lots of variety with songs that can feel at home in nightclubs, jazz clubs, and even a function in India. Favourite song was Venus As A Boy and also really liked Human Behaviour, Like Someone In Love, Crying and The Anchor Song.

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4

No one does it like Björk. This album is just a brief taste of what's to come but it's just so distinctive and gorgeous

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4

Björk is so cool. Some gorgeous songs and such a distinctive voice, but also some dancey bops too.

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4

I found the lyrics to this touching in quite an unexpected way. And ofc great bjork sounds.

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