Zoran's Björk top 20 (#1 revealed)

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Postby Carbon » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:00 am

ArmyOfMe wrote:
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.
oh I started all enthousiastic but then it became SUCH a hassle, and seemed neverending. but I'm glad I did it, even 100 feels too few considering her enormous catalogue. I already want to change some of the bottom songs, but oh well. (added it to my sig if you wanna check he he)

HUNTAHHHHHH love it. great great song. and even love the 30 Seconds to Mars cover despite the cringeworthy lyric change from Scandinavian to American
Ја кријам главата под шалот.
Само на веѓите ми се гледа
дека мислам на тебе.


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Postby ArmyOfMe » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:23 am

mrlemonade wrote:oh I started all enthousiastic but then it became SUCH a hassle, and seemed neverending. but I'm glad I did it, even 100 feels too few considering her enormous catalogue. I already want to change some of the bottom songs, but oh well. (added it to my sig if you wanna check he he)

HUNTAHHHHHH love it. great great song. and even love the 30 Seconds to Mars cover despite the cringeworthy lyric change from Scandinavian to American
I loved your albums description, and great #1! I'll comment on it appropriately once I read the description of most of the songs, at least the ones I know!
I guess I'll steal your albums countdown at the end of the chart, if you don't mind :P

I love the 30STM version as well! In fact I'm a bit of a fan of Jared & co., saw them live twice (with my sister who stans for them) :P
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Postby ThomyX » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:27 am

Hunter is fantastic, one of the first songs that got me into Björk! :D
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Postby Tansike » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:55 am

#15 Mouth Mantra
Not one of my faves of "Vulnicura", but to be honest there's no track i dislike on the album. So this seems underrated to me and i'm glad it made your Top20!

#14 An Echo, A Stain
This is nice. There are better tracks on "Vespertine", but i can't say it's bad.

#13 Hunter
YES! :o Didn't expect this to make the Top20 somehow, because i think it's not typical Björk (well, i'm still new to her music, so what do i know? :lol: :oops: ). This was an instant hit for me, the video is cool too. Hunting 8-)

From the bubbling under list i like...

#37 It's Not Up to You (This is so damn catchy! Definitely one of the most memorable tracks from her, i'd say)
#35 Jóga (riminally low. Her vocals are stunning on this)
#34 History of Touches
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:42 pm

ThomyX wrote:Hunter is fantastic, one of the first songs that got me into Björk! :D
Same, it's such an instant classic.

Tansike wrote:#13 Hunter
YES! :o Didn't expect this to make the Top20 somehow, because i think it's not typical Björk (well, i'm still new to her music, so what do i know? :lol: :oops: ). This was an instant hit for me, the video is cool too. Hunting 8-)
I don't think "typical Björk" is easy to identify (as she's constantly evolving :P ), but I think what people normally consider "classic" Björk is this kind of electro/alternative/symphonic sound in songs like this one, Hyperballad, All Is Full of Love, It's in Our Hands, etc..

--

#12 Enjoy

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Look at the speed out there
It magnetizes me to it
And I have no fear
I'm only into this to

Enjoy


One of my favourite songs from Post, Enjoy, with its big industrial sound, is like Army of Me's big sister. Once again, the exegesis of this song is quite difficult. One could think this is about a person that Björk strongly desires but is reluctant to have a physical intercourse with (I wish i'd only look / And didn't have to touch / I wish i'd only smell this / And didn't have to taste). However, it may not be so straightforward. The lines Look at the speed out there / It magnetizes me to it and This is sex whitout touching can also lead to think that the song is not about a person, but maybe a place (perhaps London, where she had just settled after moving away from Iceland), frightening yet attractive. I personally think the elusive nature of the song makes it relatable in various situations in which we are confronted with indecisions and doubts that we are unable to solve.

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Postby ArmyOfMe » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:15 pm

And the unlucky song that just misses the my top 10 is...

#11 Bachelorette

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I'm a tree that grows hearts
One for each that you take
You're the intruder hand
I'm the branch that you break


Whoever accuses Björk's recent work of being obscure probably has never paid attention to the lyrics of this song. The song is a poem in music, written by Björk's friend, Icelandic poet Sjón. This song is the last chapter of a trilogy that narrates the story of Isobel, first a little girl that starts to discover the world and its wildness (Human Behaviour), then she moves to the city, alone and "married to herself" (Isobel), and finally either takes over the city, growing trees there, or comes back to the forest, in a sort of eternal return. This narrative is conveyed very well in the Michel Gondry-directed Bachelorette video (which won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction), one of Björk's most suggestive, which was perhaps the inspiration for Gondry's own film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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Postby ArmyOfMe » Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:32 pm

#10 Human Behaviour

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If you ever get close to a human
And human behaviour
Be ready to get confused

There's definitely no logic
To human behaviour
But yet so irresistible


I've never been the biggest fan of Debut, but much like Post (to a lesser extent, of course), it contains some of her best singles. Human Behaviour was the first mainstream Björk single, her first top 40 hit in the UK and a top 2 smash in the Mainstream Rock chart in the US. The song is the beginning of the Isobel trilogy, and it tells the story of an animal warning Isobel about the risks of getting in touch with humans (as she wants to finally go out of the forest and explore the city). The lyrics of this song (some of the fiercest that Björk has ever written) and the tribal percussion make this an inescapable classic for me (one of the few Björk classics left in my countdown) and a great way to start off my top 10 (I hope). Prepare for a lot of surprises in the next positions.

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Postby ArmyOfMe » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:53 am

Time to shake up my countdown, the next entries will be very interesting and unexpected.

#09 Where Is The Line

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I want to be flexible
I want
To go out
Of my way for you
But enough is enough

Where is the line with you?


Finally a song from the amazing Medúlla. This album and Homogenic became the ones that started my passion for Björk, with the former being composed almost entirely of vocals. As other tracks of the album, the beat is made up of beatboxer's Rahzel vocals, edited to the maximum to create a really suggestive effect. The lyrics are a rant against a relative of Björk for being greedy and unreliable, repeatedly asking him where is the line with him and how far is he able to stretch her patience. However, the meaning (as it often happens with Björk) overcome its main cause and may very well fit with the political themes of the album (like in the song Mouth's Cradle), thus becoming a plea for world politcs to stop their monstrousity.
The Medúlla album is normally regarded as the beginning of Björk's "obscure" phase, but its difficulty turns into its main strength: after all, the voice is the only musical instrument we have with us since we're born, and this being "primal" and paradoxically simple is why I find Medúlla so accessible to my ears. Another cut from the album is set to appear in my countdown, and very high.

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Postby Carbon » Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:16 pm

Bachelorette - love it! one of my Homogenic faves
Human Behaviour - good song, but I'm also not a big fan of Debut
Where Is the Line - uhh this is a difficult one. the video is excellent, but I can't really enjoy the song. I respect it though. it's creepy as hell
Ја кријам главата под шалот.
Само на веѓите ми се гледа
дека мислам на тебе.


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Postby CrazyCrazy » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:37 pm

Enjoy & Where Is The Line are my faves there! :D Eeeenjooy-oy!! 8-)
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:17 pm

Thank you for your comments! Where Is The Line is one of her most interesting tracks, in my opinion. The composition is just sick.

I'm taking a little break from this as I have an exam on Tuesday, but I'll post some bubbling under positions in the meantime :D

#21 All Is Full of Love (from Homogenic)

#22 It's in Our Hands (from Greatest Hits)

#23 Pleasure Is All Mine (from Medúlla)

#24 Earth Intruders (from Volta)

#25 Cocoon (from Vespertine)

#26 The Dull Flame of Desire (from Volta)

#27 Violently Happy (from Debut)

#28 Amphibian (from Cocoon cd single)

#29 Black Lake (from Vulnicura)

#30 Venus As a Boy (from Debut)

No time for links, I'll post them later.
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Postby Blondini » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:51 pm

Love Dancer In The Dark / SelmaSongs. My #6 film of alltime.

Army Of Me is great - and the various versions on single and elsewhere are interesting, too.

I loved Debut and Post. Though i get how some people might not like the clubby 90's-centric sounds on them. She was working within mainstream culture until Homogenic where her own sound began to be honed fully. I agree about Post being a great album for singles.

Mouth Mantra is one of my HLs of that album. Bit surprised to hear of anyone hating it. :o It's better than Black Lake, for example which everyone praises for the lyric but is relatively slow and difficult.

I can't say anything bad about anything on Vespertine so An Echo, Stain is yet more beauty on earth.

Hunter i love but it's never been an absolute fave, more second level for me.

Bachelorette on the other hand... one of her greatest commercial singles - sold well but at Christmas when the chart position looked worse than it was.

Enjoy should have been a proper single instead of I Miss You.

Human Behaviour was brilliant and at the time still didn't give us an idea of just how revolutionary and huge she would be. It was a good transition from The Sugarcubes as it had some of their sound in it.

WITL is a HL from Medulla which was the start of her drop in quality until - as you say the current album.
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:54 pm

Thank you for your comment! :D I'm happy someone else likes Mouth Mantra. It's such a sick track.

Anyway, I'm ready to restart with my countdown!

--

#08 Virus

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Like a flame that seeks explosives
As gunpowder needs a war
I feast inside you, my host is you


As innovative and ambitious as Biophilia might be, I don't think it's an album that failed to live up to its full potential. Every song on the album focuses its attention on a different aspect of nature, but the album sounds like she's somehow "detached" and not really into what she sings. In fact, Björk works best when she actualizes her metaphors and makes them personal, like on Virus. The song is about the love story between "a virus and a cell", where the Virus attacks the cell and ultimately destroys it. It's like a reversed version of Cocoon (where she was the one being "entered"), and very few times on Biophilia Björk sounds so vulnerable and bare.

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Postby Tansike » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:05 pm

Really happy to see "Bachelorette" so high, definitely one of her best songs i know. The video is amazing, actually one of the best i've ever seen for me.

Also good to see "Black Lake" and the other songs from "Homogenic" & "Vespertine" :)

ArmyOfMe wrote:
Tansike wrote:#13 Hunter
YES! :o Didn't expect this to make the Top20 somehow, because i think it's not typical Björk (well, i'm still new to her music, so what do i know? :lol: :oops: ). This was an instant hit for me, the video is cool too. Hunting 8-)
I don't think "typical Björk" is easy to identify (as she's constantly evolving :P ), but I think what people normally consider "classic" Björk is this kind of electro/alternative/symphonic sound in songs like this one, Hyperballad, All Is Full of Love, It's in Our Hands, etc..
Haha see, i'm still a newbie to her music. But if people normally consider something like "Hunter" as classic Björk, then i'm even more happy because that's the sound i like the most from her :)
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:16 pm

Tansike wrote:Haha see, i'm still a newbie to her music. But if people normally consider something like "Hunter" as classic Björk, then i'm even more happy because that's the sound i like the most from her :)
If you need any advice about her discography, feel free to ask :D Which albums do you already know?

--

#07 Innocence

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Untouchable
Innocence
It's still here
But in different places

Fear is a powerful drug
Overcome it and
You think that you can do
Anything!

Should I
Save myself
For later
Or generously give?


The best Timbaland production on Volta, Innocence is like a song from Nelly Furtado's Loose on acid trip. The beat bangs as hard as never before on a Björk record, and the lyrics make it an energetic ode to one's embracing insecurities and fears, and live with them. The song depicts an ideal "golden age" of childhood, where one is innocent and with no fears. Soon, however, we know the world and develop "natural" fears that may annihilate our innocence and drive us mad. According to the song, the only way to retain one's innocence is to be brave enough to embrace fear, being courageous and fearful at the same time.

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Postby Blondini » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:09 am

Last two are good though not top level for me.
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Postby Tansike » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:26 am

ArmyOfMe wrote:
Tansike wrote:Haha see, i'm still a newbie to her music. But if people normally consider something like "Hunter" as classic Björk, then i'm even more happy because that's the sound i like the most from her :)
If you need any advice about her discography, feel free to ask :D Which albums do you already know?
"Vulnicura" was my first album by her, and i already bought the obvious ones "Homogenic" and "Vespertine" afterwards, so i own these three so far.
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Postby ArmyOfMe » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:25 am

My exams are finally over and I'm ready to continue with my countdown :D

#6 Stonemilker

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A juxtapositioning fate
Find our mutual coordinate

Moments of clarity are so rare
I better document this


The first song from Vulnicura serves as a perfect introduction to the album. The stunning opener chronicles the first simptoms of the end of a relationship, with Björk demanding "clarity" in the couple, singing that the talk with her then-husband is "like milking a stone". At first, the term "clarity" confused me a bit, as I thought the word identified the few good moments experienced at that stage of the relationship; on the contrary, the word here identifies the brief and sporadic epiphanies that make Björk realise how things actually are, that her marriage is, indeed, doomed.

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Postby Carbon » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:45 am

amazing, still the only one from the album that deeply moves me. must be the lush strings and the relatively accessible melody
Ја кријам главата под шалот.
Само на веѓите ми се гледа
дека мислам на тебе.


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Postby ArmyOfMe » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:52 pm

mrlemonade wrote:amazing, still the only one from the album that deeply moves me. must be the lush strings and the relatively accessible melody
Yeah, it's definitely the most accessible thing she's released in the past 10 years!

--

#05 Hyperballad

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It's real early morning
No-one is awake
I'm back at my cliff
Still throwing things off
I listen to the sounds they make
On their way down
I follow with my eyes 'til they crash
Imagine what my body would sound like
Slamming against those rocks
When it lands
Will my eyes
Be closed or open?


This is definitely my favourite Björk single, and the song that made me a fan. The song is a poem in music: Björk here describes her rituals in the early morning, before coming back to back to bed to her lover. She throws things off a cliff, imagining herself "slamming against those rocks" like those things, picturing her own death in an attempt of constant resurrection, which allows her to exorcise her darkest demons and be safe again with her lover. Other than being the song that made me a fan, it was also the soundtrack to the start of a very dear friendship of mine, since it was playing at dawn, after a night when my friend and I both got stoned and started a very heart-to-heart conversation about each other's lives.

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Postby CrazyCrazy » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:16 pm

Hyperballad is amazing, I really like Stonemilker although it's too soon to rank it for me.
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Postby Carbon » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:01 pm

aaah HB is a classic. perfect to get into her music, it is somewhat accessible in both melody and lyrics (not too obscure for beginners), but at the same time gets you used to the idiosyncracy of her other stuff

She throws things off a cliff, imagining herself "slamming against those rocks" like those things, picturing her own death in an attempt of constant resurrection, which allows her to exorcise her darkest demons and be safe again with her lover.
I knew the meaning before, but the way you put it is great, especially the constant resurrection part. makes my song writeups look so amateur :lol:
Ја кријам главата под шалот.
Само на веѓите ми се гледа
дека мислам на тебе.


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Postby ArmyOfMe » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:44 pm

Thank you for your comments guys! Nikola, I'm happy you like my descriptions of the songs :D I can get quite poetic when I'm inspired :P

--

#04 So Broken

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I'm trying to land
This aeroplane of ours gracefully,
But it seems just destined to crash


I know many will be surprised to see this song so high in my list, but this is my favourite Björk b-side. The song was written soon after Ricardo López (Björk's stalker) attempted to kill her and committed suicide. So Broken shows a completely different side of her to the one the public was used to at the time: the song is like a Spanish lament and the instrumentation is unusually simple for Björk (only a guitar). The lyrics are pretty simple as well, with Björk singing of a breakup that has left her broken. Indeed, some think the lyrics of this song are cheesy, but that isn't the case: to cope with the trauma of Lopez' suicide, Björk admitted to have found shelter in an imaginary world, where she was the protagonist of a South American soap opera. In my opinion, the unusual instrumentation and the story behind the song make it one of the most fascinating and intriguing of her whole catalogue.

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Postby Carbon » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:24 pm

I like this because of the guitar, so different from anything else she's done

would love a guitar album from her. I know it's never gonna happen, but who knows, maybe she'll try out everything possible and end up making a folky record
Ја кријам главата под шалот.
Само на веѓите ми се гледа
дека мислам на тебе.


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Postby Blondini » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:09 pm

I bought that limited edition box of Joga with the VHS video and 3 CDs in it - So Broken is great - such an awful period that was. :-?

Hyper and Stone are both what typical of her genius - the strings and beats together in perfect harmony. I always Hyperballad should have had a longer version though as it seemed to end too soon. It builds and builds and gets really energetic - then she jumps off a cliff! :-? :lol:
Stonemilker was indeed a return to form and basically Joga MKII (though not as good but then what is?).
Last edited by Blondini on Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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