It's Bjork's Birthday! Party Time! Well it's probably not anymore seeming as you're probably not reading this on her Birthday, and the fact that I started this journal about 2 years ago, but alas, I shall continue.
Before I had ever listened to Björk
’s music, I thought she was just another strange female artist you occasionally hear in the media with her wacky outfits. But then one day I heard Hyperballad
and that amazing music video that went with it, and I was hooked ever since. I then took the plunge, taking a risk on an unfamiliar artist, listening to more and more of her music and getting more and more hooked with each song. I then discovered that not only is she an ageless beauty, and so unique in personality (I'm not talking unique because she wears different clothes), her entire life is consumed by music and melody's and she devotes herself to sound, not to fame. And I’ve been consumed by her music ever since!
I thought it’d be appropriate to list her top 100 songs of her glorious career thus far. With another album on the horizon in the scope of a few months which is due out near the end of 2011, called Biophilia, I'm hoping she can add another timelss album to her brilliant collection thus far. Here's hoping to another 20 years of musical excellence. I made comments some of her top songs. Of course this list is just my personal opinion, and some people rank songs more than others, but nonetheless, here is a list of some of what I think is her best music having listened to her fanatically the past years:
99. Show Me Forgiveness
96. Where Is the Line
95. Violently Happy
94. Sweet Intuition
92. My Juvenile
89. My Spine
87. Pleasure Is All Mine
85. Sidasta Eg
84. Vertebrae By Vertebrae
82. Cover Me
80. In the Musicals
79. Nature Is Ancient
76. Foot Soldier
71. Mouths Cradle
70. The Boho Dance
68. The Anchor Song
67. There's More to Life Than This
66. Gloomy Sunday
65. It's Oh So Quiet
63. Sweet Sweet Intuition
62. An Echo, a Stain
61. I See Who You Are
60. Sod Off
59. Declare Independence
58. Sun in My Mouth
56. I Go Humble
55. Like Someone in Love
54. Dull Flame of Desire
53. You've Been Flirting Again
52. Come to Me
46. One Day
43. Triumph of a Heart
42. So Broken
41. I've Seen It All
40. Alarm Call
37. 5 Years
36. HeirloomAnd now the top 35:
35. Mother Heroic
This is a track that hides on Bjork's back-cupboard. It's not her most well known song but it features beautiful xelophone type sounds with a heartfelt Bjork song and very similar in tone to 'I remember you'.
34. Human Behaviour
I prefer the music video version myself, but this song, one of he earliest, is a strange song about human behavior. It draws you in.
33. Army of Me
"If you complain once more...you'll meet an army of me!" A massively pounding beat demands your attention. Bjork sings about her
32. Earth Intruders
A pounding and up-beat song that was the highest chart topper of her most recent album. Sort of a fun jungle type atmosphere as Bjork sings about Earth intruders and it's a good break from the usual nature musings of Bjork.
A very soft but enchanting song .."It's not meant to be a struggle uphill". Probably the most introverted on the Vespertine album, it's such a sweet and innocent song.
This song is a story in itself. A very good song.
29. Hidden Place
Not my personal fave, but everywhere you go, Bjork fans will say they love it. Her entire Vespertine album is truly a treat to the ears (Vespertine was voted in the best albums of the decade.) This song features a rich tapestry of sounds making you believe that there truly is a hidden place that no one else knows of.
28. New World
From her Dancer in the Dark soundtrack, it's slightly similar to Play Dead. Bjork uses her voice very well in this one.
An unlikely choice for some. It's from her first album Debut but it's so sweet and sad this one. "Crying cause I...need you". You can immediately tell it's quite raw and before it's before Bjork became fully assured of herself in the studio, but you can't hide the talent shining through here.
26. It's Not Up to You
A great song that many other artists would be proud to have, but it's sits in the backshelf due to the brilliance of some of her other music. Slightly more pop to this song compared to the rather introverted Vespertine album.
25. The Modern Things
A sweet song, similar to Domestica in that she sings about something other than love, sex etc.. In this song, she sings about cars living in mountains waiting to come out and "take over" in a very tongue in cheek song. She then uses her beautiful voice for the chorus along with some icelandic that makes it a wonder of a song. The thing that elevates this song is her use of her voice to be the winner. It's done in a few other songs and it's always a winner. Her voice is what sets her apart, so why not use it more often as she has here?
24. All Neon Like
A pounding repetitive beat is the main driving force in this song. It's very addictive and stays with you and it's often the forgotten song on the Homogenic album.
This is an relatively unknown b-side, but easily one of her best efforts. What makes this one stick out is the care free manner lyric-wise and the fun nature like music, that goes with it. She sings about losing her keys and getting a key that whistles to her when he grows up. It's all rather dreamy and fun and definitely puts an image in your head.
22. Big Time Sensuality
Putting aside that god awful music video version, this is a quirky and fun song that although scares a few people off, is a fun and great pop song that is in the better songs on her Debut album. The vocals sound slightly distorted but all the same it's a fun pop song.
21. Play Dead
A riveting song that captures heartbreak and sorrow but at the same time is strangely up-lifting as Bjork draws you in with such a big sounding song and ever bigger vocals.
20. Generous Palmstroke
A more heartfelt and introvert song. You feel like you're intruding into her thoughts with this one so it feels slightly uncomfortable yet breathtaking all the same. Great use of strings and all manner of instruments and the lovely choir backs her up brilliantly yet again.
Off her Drawing Restraint 9 soundtrack, this is probably one of the most terrifying and haunting songs you’ll hear. I think this sums it up: "Björk's lone vocal soars in the chorus like the booming siren of a blue whale who suddenly realized she was the last of her species." Easily the best off her Drawing Restraint 9 soundtrack but at the same time not a song you'd have on repeat. An amazing listening experience that someone of only Bjork's talent could create.
18.I Remember You
An unlikely choice, in fact it might be highly controversal, seeming as it is a Bjork cover and not exactly her own creation... But this is a slow moving, touching love song that hits a nerve and could almost bring a tear to your eye. “When my life is through, and the angels ask me to recall, the thrill of them all, I shall tell them… I remember you.” Lovely vocals and string arrangements bring this to a whole new level.
Off her most recent album, which people wither loved or hated depending on who you asked, this is definitely one of her best efforts off it by far. Heavy Beats with some electronic sounds combined with Bjork’s great vocals works well . This whole song sounds uniquely Bjork and it's one of her best of the Volta album.
16. Possibly Maybe
This song is slightly similar to All Neon Like in that a beat drives the song. Bjork says this was the first song she sang that was "without hope" and is unique in that Bjork shows an ability to produce melancholy type music that I love. The lyrics ring so true with a lot of people too.
15. I Miss You
A slightly more hip-hop type song, which you'd never think Bjork would do, but Bjork pulls it off again, such is her brilliant talent, with a catchy tune, catchy beat, and odd lyrics. “I miss you, but I haven’t met you yet.” A song that I could listen to for hours simply because it bounces along nicely.
14.It's in Our Hands
“It’s in our hands, it always was”. Great track. And one that often get's overlooked when considering Bjork's best range of songs. It's got a unique feel to the song that not many others in her catalog have.
13. Venus as a Boy
With a quirky xylophone beat and lush strings, mixed with Bjork’s playful lyrics this song is one of her most catchiest and upbeat songs which was off her Debut album.
A brilliant use of hard drumming beats makes this song completely, and is a slight change from her other music in tempo. “I thought that I could organise freedom, how Scandinavian of me.” Most people would know this song from her music video (which is great), but this song is one of her best.
11. Harm of Will
A soft and touching song, which straight away pulls you in and never lets go as the song is so powerful. It relies on Bjork’s magnificent vocals and a nice choir in the background adding to the whole atmosphere. First 30 seconds of this song is out of this world.
10. Pagan Poetry
A sort of Japanese sounding song with it’s intro and parts throughout the song, but mixes with some great electronic beats to make a elegant and beautiful song. “On the surface, simplicity. But the darkest part of me is Pagan Poetry."
9. Desired Constellation
A song that you usually listen to alone, at night, or star-gazing. A moving melody background sound that was apparently made from voice loops making a bell type sound which suits the mood perfectly. It can’t be repeated, which makes this a great song along with fantastic lyrics. One of the best songs from her Medulla
album. “With a palm full of stars - I throw them like dice, repeatedly…until the desired constellation appears...”
A raw, powerful song featuring violins and pounding beats mixed with Bjork’s soaring vocals is a true treat to the ears.
7. Who Is It
A song that is beat-boxed (I didn’t even know the beats in this song were non-computer at first until I re-listened to it) entirely with no instruments sounds bad right? Wrong. A great song, and great lyrics. Possibly one of the strangest and cute music videos ever made which accompanies this song, which shows Bjork in a bell suit (yes you heard right) dancing with bell kids.
“Goddess sparkle.” A heartfelt song that showcases Bjork’s sweet vocals but also has great help from a fantastic choir which elevates this song to a new level, and combined with Bjork is match made in heaven. There's such a lovely quiet feeling atmosphere with this song.
Such a powerful song that ticks at nearly 7 minutes . An AMAZING use of Bjork’s vocals, probably ranks as the stronger ones in her catalog. The song builds to it’s amazing climax along with the help of a beautiful choir then blows us away with her beutiful yells. It's a softer feeling song, but still feels important and climaxes wonderfully.
A song that has to be heard to be believed. “My heart comes undone, slowly unravels, in a ball of yarn”.Thom Yorke (Radiohead lead singer) says it’s the most beautiful song he’s ever heard, and I’m not one to disagree! Strange but powerful sounding, and possibly one of her most melancholic and sadder songs in her collection. This song just feels important and tragic at the same time which is what sets it apart.
3. All Is Full of Love
The top 5 are very, very hard. This song is purely amazing and touching at the same time, with it’s electronic melody and use of instruments combined with great lyrics makes it an elegant yet beautiful song as it simply stands above all other music when compared. Music video should be checked out also to for it's use of two robots in love, which says love is for anyone and everyone!
A strong but twisted song about love that’s not easily explained. It’s about waking up early in the morning, being destructive, throwing small things off a mountain, and imagining what her body would feel like slamming against rocks at the bottom of the cliff, asking “And when I land will my eyes be closed or open?”, and then finally returning to her lover's arms in the morning as if nothing’s happened. Great vocals with lovely sounding violins, but it's the beats, that pound gently and grow faster as the song wears on is what makes this song so breathtaking.1.Jóga
Perhaps the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. It’s a gorgeous song which not only showcases Bjork’s vocals but just how good music can be in Bjork’s hands with such a brilliant aray of violins and organic sounds intertwined with very electronic beats. Putting it simply: A masterpiece. A song that will stay with me forever for it's unmatched mix of wonderful vocals and sounds.
Note: I didn't use any The Sugarcubes songs. I highly recommend Birthday if you want to hear Bjork's vocals soar to unimaginable heights.-Bjork performing Oceania at the 2004 Olympics.
So there you have it. My opinion on her best 100 songs from an amazing artist. Feel free to agree or disagree with me, or even add your own list of your favourite Bjork songs or which songs you like or dislike. I also await the Comet Song with great interest, but we'll have to wait until August next year for that.