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Björk
Debut
Elektra

After Life’s Too Good, the Sugarcubes went downhill pretty quick. Only half of Here Today, Tomorrow, Next Week was any good, and their last release I didn’t even bother listening to. When a band puts out an album’s worth of remixes, it’s pretty much exhausted all creativity and credibility. (Remember what a ridiculous mistake the Cure’s Mixed Up was?) Björk is back, only now she’s solo. On her debut, Debut, she brings the greatest vocal cords known to this world in her first appearance since the Sugarcubes’ breakup.

Most songs on this CD are geared toward the dance floor but are a far cry from the hideous repetition of techno or rave or whatever they play in the clubs. The fuzzy, shuffling opener and hit song “Human Behavior” is better than anything the Sugarcubes ever put out during the last four years. Björk achieves hypnotic perfection in “Come to Me” with five minutes of droning bass line, a tinkering piano bouncing around here and there in the background. A lot of the songs use keyboards and synthesizers, but the beautiful ballad “Like Someone in Love” has a harp as the only instrument. Another of my favorites is “Aeroplane,” filled with jungle, rhythms, saxophone breaks, and of course, Björk Guðmundsdóttir’s breathlike voice.

A fan of the Sugarcubes will like Debut a lot. And whether or not dance music is your thing, you’ll like it too.

Originally published in Ink Nineteen in September 1993.


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