Homogenic by Björk
Coming into a record like Björk's Homogenic is strange. It's consistently cited as a genre-defining trip-hop record, despite being ridiculously unclassifiable on its own. Much has been said about it, much has been written about it, but it's not a record I would look into myself had it not been requested by fellow Neosteader PotassiumMCR. I'm conflicted with it, too. I find the themes of it pretty fascinating. I think it's got a ton of character to it. I see the appeal. I even find it appealing at times—but I also find it to be pretty overwhelming. Don't take that as a negative, however, because it has an awful lot to offer an open ear.
At first, Homogenic is an absolutely cracking listen. Björk's accented belt demands attention, moving mountains of abstract rhythms and Icelandic string sections with ease. Tracks like "Jóga" and "Pluto" perfectly mix these lavaball beats and her confrontational delivery, and I really can't recommend them highly enough. "Jóga" in particular absolutely soars, the first real beautiful moment on the album after the slinky glitch bass of the opener, "Hunter". The problem comes with this style being stretched over a full album. The song structures are pretty abstract, everything tends to bleed together (ironic, given the name), and Björk's voice is absolutely uncompromising—fatiguing, even. Maybe it's just not my thing. Homogenic is a challenging listen, but it is vibrant, passionate, and full of personality, if you can keep up with it.