Björk HomogenicBjörk is a singer-songwriter from Iceland. She is best known for her eccentric style of music. She has been recognized in genres like folk, jazz, rock, classical and electronic dance music. Her musical styles are unique and diverse.

She released 7 studio albums, but one of her albums that stood out and embraced the style of electronic dance music was Homogenic in 1997. It had a blend of ‘strings and electronic beats’ but stayed true to her roots.

Björk wrote her songs as a means of therapy. Her Homogenic album was also one where she reinvented herself.  It was meant to be ‘simple.’

During the creation of the songs for Homogenic, Björk received a lot of stress after an obsessed fan committed suicide. There was a break in her creative process, but it was later picked back up. It’s possible that event influenced her creative process for this album as well.

Homogenic is a combination of  ‘strings, stuttering, abstract beats, and certain unique instrumentation like an accordion and glass harmonica.’ She wanted the album to reflect her homeland of Iceland.  She was also able to express her emotions throughout her songs.

According to an article from the Portuguese journal Publico in 1997, she explained Homogenic by saying: “When I made the songs of this album, I wanted that they were really “homogenic”, only one flavor from the start till the end. And that unique flavor was thinking like a combination of heavy rhythms and dirty and an orchestral section; without undertones, with nothing more; everything much is raw, rigid. And the idea at the beginning was to have the orchestra all in the left column, the rhythm in the right one and the voice in the middle of the two…”

The songs on the album display Björk’s wide vocal abilities and styles from ‘screaming, to traditional singing to talking.’

Upon the release of Homogenic, it didn’t take long before it became internationally successful topping the charts in Europe, Canada and U.S. It received awards and through critical acclaim became known as one of the great ‘electronic albums of the 21st century.’

Commentary:

After listening to the Homogenic album on Mog and learning a bit about Björk and her background, I’d have to say I have a high respect for the type of music she’s created throughout her career. Homogenic has a nice grove to it and the lyrical content is interesting and inspiring. Sure, it may seem ‘weird’ or out of the norm but that’s what makes it so compelling to me. She experimented with instrumental blends, vocal blends and had a great musical outlook on the sounds she wanted to achieve. The effects used and the way everything was produced and fused together defined her, her sound and who she was.  She is definitely an influence to fellow artists and musicians alike, especially those who take after her style. Björk is a great contribution to the music world.

Electronic Innovations: Björk – References

  • Bjork Homogenic Preview Interview. (n.d.). nsd.dyndns.org. Retrieved April 30, 2012, from http://nsd.dyndns.org/tempest/bjork-homogenic.html
  • Howard, D. (2004). Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers And Their Maverick Recordings (First ed.). Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corporation.

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