AOTY 2023
Björk - Homogenic
Nov 27, 2020
100th review, so it makes sense for it to be a 100.

Before I get to the actual review, I just wanted to so say how thankful I am for the AOTY community, ever since I joined in mid January earlier this year y’all have been nothing but great, I could have never imagined I’d get over 500 followers, so to everyone who follows me and likes my reviews thank you so much, it really does means a lot to me.

Now, on to the actual review, this one might be a bit longer than usual so hang tight.

Back when I first listened to Homogenic in April, I knew it was as near to perfect as it possibly could be, but I couldn’t really find the right words for it. Something about it was like those depictions of the Ophanim from the Old Testament that are a bunch of wheels covered in eyes encompassing a circle, it's hard to describe and even harder to visualize, but you just know there’s something so divine and otherworldly to it where you already know you have to pay reverence.

At the time before Björk dropped this album, she was already receiving that reverence with her much acclaimed Debut and Post, but Homogenic was so above and beyond what anyone could have imagined based purely on those two albums it’s absolutely insane, it feels timeless where even just audio-wise compared to Post it feels like Homogenic hasn’t aged a day and could have been released today rather than 1997 and wouldn’t feel dated.

Starting off this album we have the ominous Hunter which feels like an even larger declaration of war than Army of Me could be, infusing the breakbeat drum and bass with some menacing string arrangements, I have genuinely nothing bad to say about this track, it’s simply amazing (10/10).

Next we have Joga, while not exactly my most favorite track on the album, it’s clear to see why it’s the most popular, as who doesn’t love belting that chorus at the top of their lungs (“THIS STATE OFFFF EMERGENCY”) whenever it comes on, making it nonetheless a great track (8.7/10).

Unravel is a much more forlorn track than the first two, bringing out the saxophones and is definitely the most slow-jam Björk track I can think of, really good but also pretty sad (10/10).

Now Bachelorette is definitely up there as one of greatest songs ever written, period. The drop right at the beginning perfectly fusing the trip hop beat with full orchestral arrangement, the way the strings kick in right after Björk sings “I’m your one way street” always puts a tear in my eye cause of how beautiful it is, with the lyrics just further emphasizing the dire situation Björk illustrates, and finally the ending being just an accordion like you’ve been taken down from the heavenly realm Björk brought you in back into the streets of a European city, everything about Bachelorette feels almost too perfect to be real (10/10).

All Neon Like probably has the most infectious sounding beats out of the album where it sounds like a distorted 808 mixed in with some jungle/drum and bass influence, and it’s all brought into an almost crystal-like soundscape that feels invigorating and comforting (9.9/10).

5 Years has a similar beat as All Neon Like but lyrically Björk is being a bit more confrontational than comforting by addressing an ex-lover and saying they can’t handle love, in my opinion it’s probably one of the most underrated tracks on the album (10/10).

There isn’t really a whole lot to say about Immature, the idea of needing to be in a relationship to feel complete being a sign of immaturity is pretty good and fairly well executed here but compared to the rest of the tracklist it feels like it’s missing something special to make it stand out (7.8/10).

Alarm Call has maybe the most 90s hip-hop/dance pop sounding beats off the entire album, like either of Britney Spears or Tupac could have hopped on this beat at any point (“I'm no fucking Buddhist, but this is enlightenment” sounds like it could have been a Tupac bar), lots of Michael Jackson inspired energy on the track but it still remains so perfectly Björk, with the “beep beep, beep beep” adlibs over the track making it just an even more fun experience of a song (10/10).

Pluto is another one of my favorites, with the frantic IDM beat and Björk just yelling her brains out by the end of it, it feels so far removed from where the rest of the album just was but it’s just such a stunning moment of catharsis and I’m really at a loss of words of what to say here, just stream Pluto guys, not Pluto x Baby Pluto (10/10).

I really wish the album ended on Pluto, but knowing Björk, elegance is definitely a much more valued aspect than experimentation when it comes to closers, and All is Full of Love fulfills that, maybe my least favorite track on the album for the reason just stated, but I can’t really complain much more about it, this album is still a great experience (7.4/10).

While the average score of these individual tracks might not be 10/10, I think if over half the tracklist is made out of 10/10s you might as well just round it up, so as a whole the album gets a 10/10.

I don’t really base my opinion of an album by the cover art most of the time, but the cover of Homogenic has to be a 10/10 as well, compared to Post and Debut where Björk fully adopts the pixie-girl aesthetic Homogenic goes for that “alien from the future that’s ready to change art pop forever” look and I’m honestly all here for it.

So that was definitely fun and definitely didn’t take a butt load of time to finish, I want to get better at writing and being more descriptive and I plan on doing at least four more of these longer, 1,000 word album reviews before the year ends so stay tuned for that (Hint: next one’s Radiohead).

Track Ratings
1Hunter / 100
2Jóga / 87
3Unravel / 100
4Bachelorette / 100
5All Neon Like / 99
65 Years / 100
7Immature / 78
8Alarm Call / 100
9Pluto / 100
10All Is Full of Love / 74
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