Zoran's Björk top 20 (#1 revealed)

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Postby ArmyOfMe » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:22 pm

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Coming (very) soon. Singles, album tracks, obscure b-sides and random untintelligible Björkian noises included.
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:53 pm

#20 Pluto

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Excuse me
But I just have to
Explode
Explode this body
Off me

I'll be brand new
Brand new tomorrow
A little bit tired
But brand new


Every Björk album has this track that is more difficult than the others, and Pluto is that one track on Homogenic. When I listened to this song for the first time, still an inexperienced Björk listener, I was like "WTF is this noise? :-? ", but I learned to appreciate it with time. Homogenic is often angry, full of tension, and like a novel, it has its spannung, the point where all the tension accumulates right before the end. Pluto is the spannung, the moment where all the tension is released, which precedes the gorgeous harmonious ending of the album, All Is Full of Love.

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Postby ArmyOfMe » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:31 am

Ok, I'm flopping so hard with this countdown :cry: :lol:

#19 Domestica

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Oh boy
I cannot find my keys
I'm far too late

The door is open now
a taxi is waiting there

A phone keeps ringing
I am definitely not going to
pick it up

'Cause
when I grow up
I'm gonna get those fancy keyrings
that you whistle at
and they whistle right back
at you


One of the b-sides of the Pagan Poetry single, Domestica was also the working title of her album Vespertine. Björk conceived Vespertine as a static, domestic, wintery album, and the lyrics of this song reflect the longing for stability of the lyrical I, who doesn't want to move anymore but wishes to stay with her lover and live with him. As often with Björk, an object, in this case the whistle/keyring, becomes the symbol of something else (probably the conjugal complicity).

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Postby Tansike » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:33 am

"Pluto" is amazing, love it and great way to start the Top20 :)

Don't know "Domestica", but i'll check it out :)
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Postby Blondini » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:23 pm

Only a top 20? Pluto is crazy good. Domestica a surprise.
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Postby ThomyX » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:34 pm

I'll be following this! :D

I know Pluto is a huge fan favourite, but I never got its appeal. I appreciate it for what it is, but I don't think I've ever been in a mood when I could fully enjoy it, even though I usually love her more obscure moments. I skip it. :oops:

Domestica is a surprise indeed, but definitely one of my favourite b-sides by Björk, lovely song. :D In fact, I love pretty much everything from the Vespertine era.
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:42 pm

Blondini wrote:Only a top 20? Pluto is crazy good. Domestica a surprise.
I may post some songs that bubbled under, but since I wanted to give each song some time to write a proper description I only limited the countdown to a top 20. Some of these songs are really special to me, so I didn't want to reduce it to a mere list.

By the way, I'm happy you guys like Domestica! It's a great track and my second favourite b-side (the first one is in my top 5). Tansike, let me know if you like it! :D

Anyway, back to the countdown:

#18 I've Seen It All

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I've seen it all, I've seen the dark
I've seen the brightness in one little spark.
I've seen what I chose and I've seen what I need,
And that is enough, to want more would be greed.
I've seen what I was and I know what I'll be
I've seen it all - there is no more to see!


The promotional single from Lars Von Trier's movie Dancer in the Dark and its parent soundtrack Selmasongs, this song exists in two different main versions: the soundtrack version, a duet with Radiohead's frontman Thom Yorke, and the movie version, a duet with actor Peter Stormare. The song chronicles the movie protagonist's fall into blindness and it lists the many experiences one can have (or just imagine) in their life. The character conveys her completeness and her will to accept life as it is, even now that she's losing sight. It's not the sense of sight that matters, but how one "sees", "envisions", "imagines" the world.
I suggest everyone to watch the movie as well, because it's great.

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Postby CrazyCrazy » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:34 pm

I love Bjork but still feel like I need to listen to her more. Pluto is one for a certain mood, interesting start, I'll try the bside track. :D
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Postby Carbon » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:21 am

following this! not really into these ones so far :oops: that said, Bjork was never one of the ''I love all songs ever'' artists, there's still lots I can't really digest

hoping for Undo, Unison, Wanderlust, Pneumonia or something like that :D
Ја кријам главата под шалот.
Само на веѓите ми се гледа
дека мислам на тебе.


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Postby ThomyX » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:59 am

I've Seen It All is nice, though not one of my faves. I also prefer the movie version to the one on the soundtrack album.

The movie is fantastic, even though I'm sure I won't be able to give it a second watch in a while! :cry:
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:05 am

mrlemonade wrote:hoping for Undo, Unison, Wanderlust, Pneumonia or something like that :D
One of them is in my top 20, and very high :D another one just missed it.

--

#17 I See Who You Are

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I see who you are
Behind the skin
And the muscles

I see who you are, now
And when you get older later

I will see the same girl
The same soul
Lioness, fireheart
Passionate lover


An underrated cut from an underrated album. The strength of this track lies in the instrumentation and the lyrics: the strings and the brass remind me of Japan and geishas, which may be fitting since the song is an ode to a passionate lover, a mysterious she that could potentially be any woman (perhaps Björk herself). Coincidentially, this song comes in my countdown right after another track with the word "see". However, while in I've Seen It All the attention was focused on the whole world, here the world is just a single person. The same sense of completeness is conveyed, but here it's the completeness of love, of knowing everything of the other person, body and soul.

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Postby Carbon » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:15 am

Love this oneee! this whole middle streak of Volta is so underrated. everyone considers it weaker, but I think it's brilliant
Ја кријам главата под шалот.
Само на веѓите ми се гледа
дека мислам на тебе.


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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:21 pm

mrlemonade wrote:Love this oneee! this whole middle streak of Volta is so underrated. everyone considers it weaker, but I think it's brilliant
I totally agree. It took me years to get into it, but the sequence I See Who You Are - Vertebrae by Vertebrae - Pneumonia - Hope is actually terrific. Same goes for the rest of the album tbh.

--

#16 Army of Me

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Stand up
You've got to manage
I won't sympathize
Anymore

And if you complain once more
You'll meet an army of me
And if you complain once more
You'll meet an army of me

A self-celebratory moment here. I could not exclude the song that gave me my UKMIX nickname (I also have to shut down rumours about the xtine song being responsible for it :P ). Army of Me is one of her biggest singles (her first UK top 10) and one of her angriest songs; it finds Björk refusing to simpatise with someone who doesn't want to do nothing for their life (she later revealed that it was dedicated to her brother). Much like other Björk songs, it could be referred to anyone, even to oneself as an angry self-empowerment anthem. It's one of the tracks that I find closer to me, since I used it as a break-up anthem in the past. Post may not be her strongest album, but it contains some of her best singles, in my opinion. Another Post single (and another album track) will appear later in my countdown.

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Postby leomedar » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:35 pm

FANTASTIC! Really great comments! Like them a lot.

I also suggest people to watch Dancer In The Dark A masterpiece imo. nd the songs are beautiful.
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:58 am

leomedar wrote:FANTASTIC! Really great comments! Like them a lot.
Thank you! :D I'm discovering a lot of things myself while writing these comments.

--

#15 Mouth Mantra

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This tunnel has enabled
Thousands of sounds
I thank this trunk
Noise pipe

I have followed a path
That took sacrifices
Now I sacrifice this scar
Can you cut it off


Vulnicura is definitely Björk's strongest effort since Vespertine, a total return to form. I'm pretty aware everyone hates this song, but it's always been one of my favourite cuts from the album. Much like Pluto, this is the spannung of the album, the moment of maximum tension, where Björk decides to release all the pain accumulated throughout the album. Vulnicura chronicles the end of a relationship, and here the lyrical I decides to accept the pain, to "explore the negative space" and "sacrifice the scar", in an ideal desire to liberate from it. Indeed, after Mouth Mantra follows Quicksand, a sort of bittersweet ending where light and pain merge into an eternal vortex.


I couldn't find the actual song on Youtube, but I strongly advise everyone to listen to Vulnicura, if you haven't done this yet.
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Postby ThomyX » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:36 am

Woo, I'm so behind! Let's see...

#17 I See Who You Are: YES! I thought I was the only one loving this song! :cry: Her belting towards the end and the moment when the trumpets come in are simply magical. It's a very underrated song, and one of the better ones or her otherwise rather weak album (sorry! :lol:).

#16 Army of Me: Classic Björk, and so ahead of its time! I refuse to take anyone seriously who doesn't include this in their personal Björk top 40 (at least)! :lol: I agree that Post is one of her strongest eras singles-wise, while the album isn't necessarily her best.

#15 Mouth Mantra: Now this is surpsising! I have to admit I'm not a fan of the song (yet?). It has such an unconventional structure, and though that could be said about most Björk songs, even with repeated listens I couldn't wrap my head around Mouth Mantra. It has moments here and there that I like and the production is sublime, but overall I find it too noisy and not going anywhere. :(

Looking forward to the rest!
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:42 pm

^ I'm glad I See Who You Are is getting some love! :cry: Perhaps Mouth Mantra will grow on you, I think it's absolutely sick and I adore it for not having a definite structure.

--

Ok, since I'm too lazy to write the description for the next song in my countdown (which has rather complex and cryptic lyrics), I'll post some bubbling under positions, from #40 to #31.

#40 Moon [from Biophilia]

#39 Crystalline [from Biophilia]

#38 Oceania (feat. Kelis) [from Who Is It cd single]

#37 It's Not Up to You [from Vespertine]

#36 Who Is It [from Medúlla]

#35 Jóga [from Homogenic]

#34 History of Touches [from Vulnicura]

#33 The Modern Things [from Post]

#32 Declare Independence [from Volta]

#31 Unison [from Vespertine]
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Postby CrazyCrazy » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:44 pm

Army of Me is classic Bork! 8-)

From the missed (my faves):
#40 Moon [from Biophilia]
#37 It's Not Up to You [from Vespertine]
#35 Jóga [from Homogenic]
#34 History of Touches [from Vulnicura]
#33 The Modern Things [from Post]
#32 Declare Independence [from Volta]
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Postby Biebz » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:46 pm

Love Army of Me, how can anyone hate that song 8-)

#35 Jóga [from Homogenic]

Yes I stan! :cry: I absolutely love her vocals at the end
my reputation's never been worse so you must like me for me
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Postby Carbon » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:48 pm

Army of Me - thought it would be higher tbh, considering your username :lol: good song, but casual fans overrate it compared to her brilliant unknown stuff

It's Not Up to You - loooove it, the strings and all. Vespertine for life

Oceania - funny enough, this one was THE song that made me fall in love with her. nowadays it's somewhere in my top 10 for sure. but not the Kelis duet, the single solo version

Declare Independence - my least fave from Volta, too noisy and direct for me :oops:

Unison - one of my faves, truly truly majestic, I was hoping it would end up in the top 20. again, the strings on this album kill me

also love Moon, Crystalline, Joga, Who Is It, but don't have much to add aside from that :D
Ја кријам главата под шалот.
Само на веѓите ми се гледа
дека мислам на тебе.


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Postby ThomyX » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:52 pm

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I'm glad to see Jóga at just #35! :oops: I've always though it was a good song, but never understood why most people think it's among her absolute best, I think she has much more interesting songs to offer (like I said, I still like the song though, and would rank it similarly to you). Each to their own, I guess! :)

I also love:
#40 Moon [from Biophilia]
#39 Crystalline [from Biophilia]
#37 It's Not Up to You [from Vespertine]
#36 Who Is It [from Medúlla]
#35 Jóga [from Homogenic]
#34 History of Touches [from Vulnicura]
#32 Declare Independence [from Volta]
#31 Unison [from Vespertine]
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:06 am

Thanks everyone for your comments! :D Yeah, I knew some may feel that Army of Me is a bit low considering my username, but that doesn't me it's not an important song for me. I think it's a great innovative song, but she still has better.
Thomy, I'm happy someone feels the same about Jóga. It's by no means a bad song, but fans tend to overrate it IMO.

--

#14 An Echo, A Stain

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Don't say no to me
You can't say no to me
I won't see you
Denied

I'm sorry you saw that
I'm sorry he did it
An echo
A stain
A stain

I can't say no to you
(I can't say no to you)
Say nothing

Free falling
Complete


One of the most mysterious (and one of my favourite) songs from Vespertine, An Echo, A Stain is based on the text of Sarah Kane's 1998 play Crave. Quoting Wikipedia, the play contains several dark themes, including rape, incest, pedophilia, anorexia, drug addiction, mental instability, murder, and suicide. This leads me to believe this song may be about rape ("I'm sorry you saw that / I'm sorry he did that"), or more loosely, about the ugliness of existence. It's not even clear how many characters speak during the song: I think there are two characters, with one soothing the other one, who has suffered something dreadful in their life and now seeks consolation and warmth in the arms of a lover (thus continuing the "domestic" themes of the album).

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Postby Carbon » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:16 am

Lovely tune as well!

this countdown reminds me of my top 100 Tori countdown where I wrote analyses of each song. but yours seem better worded :lol:
Ја кријам главата под шалот.
Само на веѓите ми се гледа
дека мислам на тебе.


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Postby ThomyX » Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:30 pm

An Echo, A Stain took ages to grow on me, it sounded too sinister in the context of Vespertine for me, but I love it now. Very intriguing song. :)
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:12 pm

mrlemonade wrote:this countdown reminds me of my top 100 Tori countdown where I wrote analyses of each song. but yours seem better worded :lol:
Thanks! I'll look for your Tori countdown now to read your analyses :P It must have been pretty hard with a top 100 I reckon.

ThomyX wrote:An Echo, A Stain took ages to grow on me, it sounded too sinister in the context of Vespertine for me, but I love it now. Very intriguing song. :)
I think it fits quite well in Vespertine, right next to the darker tunes like Hidden Place and Pagan Poetry, but it's definitely the most sinister cut, you're right!

--

#13 Hunter

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I thought that i could organise freedom
How Scandinavian of me


A shocking opening for a shockingly great album. The dark, marching beat in the beginning of the song, with its synths going left and right from one ear to the other, gave me shivers from the first time I heard it with my earphones. The lyrics are a bit cryptic and quite loose in their meaning, with Björk longing for constant freedom, movement and maybe liberation from expectations and negativity surrounding her. It became a personal classic when I came out 5 years ago, and I didn't want to be labeled anymore as a person I was not.
This is one of several cuts from Homogenic in my countdown, with a couple of them that have yet to appear.

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