Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Animalia, Mar 7, 2016.
I haven't listened to Biophilia since 2011. Oops.
It's Debut night tonight!
Lucky you. I'm at Biophilia. Debut is clearly my winner in terms of averages. Currently that's just below 8, while Medulla is the loser at 4. But I've not completed Biophilia or Vulnicura yet so there's still time for Medulla to lose its wooden spoon!
One week down, five to go!
Lemme do my hostly duties and rescue this from the second page.
Which do y'all think will be the first album to leave us completely? I mean it's really only a choice of three, but I wonder which will have the biggest highlights to keep them hanging on that little bit longer.
I'm guessing Biophilia. It seems to be the least favourite for a lot of people, and Medúlla and Volta, which seem to be considered in the bottom half of her albums, seem to have more popular highs.
OH GOOD I have some time to do this. I'm fucking awful at committing to rates (sorry, @P'NutButter and Kylie) but I'm gonna attempt to at least get some scores down soon.
I'm expecting Biophilia to be first out as well. It doesn't seem to be a favorite around here (which is odd, considering Medulla is technically worse).
Honestly, yeah, I'll be very surprised if Biophilia isn't first out. There are a few gems crystals in there, but I doubt they'll stand much of a chance against the highlights of Medúlla and Volta. I'm interested to see how Selmasongs fairs in the mix, though. I can't really imagine hearing the soundtrack for the first time without having seen the film.
You've got loads of time, there's no rush! I'll be diligently pestering anyone & everyone who's posted in the thread nearer the time, too.
Biophilia has its moments (Mutual Core, I'm looking at you!), but compared to her other albums the Bio-average is around 5,5~6.
I think Volta is worse than Biophilia.
Volta is unfocused and half-hearted while Biophilia carries a strong, unique vision (one too big for its own good maybe, but that's another story). I'd rather take a wanky album than an uninspired one.
Volta is so underappreciated. All because of some foghorns~ Yes it does get a bit too slow after Innocence but Hope puts it back on track quickly. Meanwhile, all the singles beat anything on Biophilia for me.
Volta feels far more focused than Biophilia to me. The horn theme running through it, and the "traveling the world" concept pop.
Volta? Half-hearted? Uninspired?
I may be slightly biased since, as others have said, it was the first album/era that I got to experience as a fan in realtime, but I've always found it to be one of her most cohesive, mature albums. The whole tribal/traveller theme runs throughout pretty seamlessly (perhaps with the exception of Declare Independence, but Biophilia has a similar anomaly in Mutual Core), and even some of the less well-received tracks house some of Björk's strongest, most emotive vocals, e.g. Pneumonia, Vertebrae By Vertebrae.
I have to disagree.
The traveller theme is one of those loose, hollow concepts in which one can fit anything he or she fancies. To me, the "boat trip around the world" story is more about how the album was made and not its actual content. I don't see other songs other than Wanderlust and the phoned-in ship horns interludes mirroring it. The topics are justice, urgence, womanhood, her children, her voice, the usual stuff. Justice in particular is what Björk said she had set to explore with Volta, but she also claimed it's close to Post in the sense it doesn't have a central motif but it's a mix of many different things. She has candidly admitted she didn't work on the album much and she decided to release it because of urgency (which is björkspeak for "I had deadlines and I wanted badly to tour so I composed something in three months and did one million gigs after"). It's sort of like MDNA. It's not a surprise Volta sounds much, MUCH better live and Björk herself finds the live versions superior to the ones on the record (which she thinks it's "just okay"). She went so far as to say the songs started finally coming together after two years of touring.
Now, if I'm harsh with Volta, it's just out of love. There are some songs that I adore on it, some that I like and others that I hate. I don't think it's bad. I do think it doesn't have the strength of vision, the attention to detail and the top-notch quality Björk's work usually has. I know it is supposed to be an impulsive and spontaneous kind of record but in my opinion, it ends up being just rushy and half-baked, very on autopilot. Its ideas are not always fresh, the lyrics are clumsy and the songwriting can be rather unengaged (I mean, Vertebrae by Vertebrae is literally a sample from Hunter Vessel looped, Hope is Toumani Diabaté improvising + a spare Timbaland beat and so on). I might be spoiled, but we all know what she is capable to do and I expect the biggest, most incredible things from her. Not fucking My Juvenile.
What sort of libel.
Volta was the first time I felt I couldn't defend Björk from the sort of people that say "she just drones endlessly without any melody in sight", it's one of those albums where it's clear from the first minute what's going to be a single. I'd compare it with Hard Candy in this aspect – there are four good songs and a lot of terrible, terrible drivel. And all those four songs from Volta became singles, surprisingly (not).
Vulnicura was a relief partly because it was so melodic and beautiful. "Stonemilker" alone beats everything on Volta and Biophilia. "Emowshenal riiispecht, oo riiispecht" beats all of Volta and Biophilia, actually.
On this topic, she said something very interesting once about the difference between Volta and Biophilia on one side and Vulnicura on the other.
But also, in defense of her unpopular difficult records:
As a new fan, that's what I like the most about her. The diversity and her ability to do everything effortlessly. She's one of the very very very few artists that can do something truly pretentious or truly basic, yet still give you the impression that they felt that record religiously and did it because that's what they wanted to create at the time. Her lack of judgement in terms of music and different styles is very deserving of respect in my book.
The greatest thing about Björk (at least for me) is that she has loads of talent (voice, songwriting, production, visuals) and the ambition to back it up and create masterpieces.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ME. (Send me scores.)
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