- Released: November 29, 1993
- Label: Universal Int'l
Q - 12/99, p.76
Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s."
Q - 1/94, p.85
Included in Q's list of 'The 50 Best Albums Of 1993' - "...an album of tantalising contrasts....manages to be bubbly, exhilarating, brazenly dance-oriented and satisfying all at once..."
Q - 7/93, p.854 Stars
- Excellent - "...Bjork Godmundsdottir's voice was undoubtedly the jewel in The Sugarcubes' crown and in the relatively sparse setting of this solo debut she reclaims all her old wit and joissance....a surprising, playful collection..."
Melody Maker - 1/1/94, p.76Ranked #6
in Melody Maker's list of the 'Albums Of The Year' for 1993 - "...a fantastic DEBUT..."
Musician - 7/93, p.90
"...what makes her singing memorable isn't the odd assortment of growls, moans and chirps she relies upon, but the emotions those sounds convey..."
NME (Magazine) - 12/25/93, p.66Ranked #1
in New Musical Express' list of the 'Top 50 LPs Of 1993' - "...DEBUT is a musical treasure chest of organic techno beats, twinkly jazz serenades and otherworldly nursery rhymes, disregarding categories and [displaying] a bewitching faith in pop's ability to challenge..."
NME (Magazine) - 7/3/93, p.35
9 - Excellent Plus - "...an album that believes music can be magical and special...."
- 1.Human Behaviour
- 3.Venus as a Boy
- 4.There's More to Life Than
- 5.Like Someone in Love
- 6.Big Time Sensuality
- 7.One Day
- 9.Come to Me
- 10.Violently Happy
- 11.Anchor Song
- 12.Play Dead
Personnel: Bjork (vocals, keyboards); Jon Mallison (guitar); Corki Hale (harp); Oliver Lake (alto saxophone); Gary Barnacle, Mike Mower (horns); Marius De Vries, Paul Waller, Martin Virgo (keyboards, programming); Garry Hughes (keyboards, Hammond organ, programming); Luis Jardim (bass, drums, percussion); Bruce Smith, Nellee Hooper (drums, percussion); Talvin Singh (tabla); Jhelisa Anderson (background vocals).
Engineers include: Jim Abbiss, Nellee Hooper, Howie Bernstein.
Import edition features bonus track: "Play Dead."
With DEBUT, the Icelandic thrush Bjork Godmundsdottir (late of the Sugarcubes) brings her knowing innocence and quirky voice to bear on an engaging program of renegade pop tunes. The unusual instrumental textures on songs such as "Human Behavior," fleshed out with timpani, small percussion instruments, vibraphones and harps, suggests a post-modern version of Phil Spector.
As a singer, Bjork's swooping octave leaps and guttural cries betray the elemental contradictions in her music. She projects the girlish innocence and barely constrained sensuality of a wise child, old beyond her years (the techno-reggae romanticism of "Venus As A Boy," the bouncy house changes of "Big Time Sensuality" and "Violently Happy"), and sometimes she sounds like she's trying to rediscover how such doe-eyed love might actually feel, as if for the first time (the mysterious groove of "One Day" and the jazzy standard "Like Someone In Love," with its spare harp accompaniment).
There's a pronounced techno feel to DEBUT, with its airy synthesizers and spacious, uncluttered mixes, but without the cool, mechanized detachment of that genre. On "Aeroplane" Bjork combines a saxophone quartet with Middle Eastern-flavored percussion to steer her tale of obsessive love just outside of the pop mainstream, while the unusual saxophone harmonies of "The Anchor Song" lend a folkish color to her extended metaphors on home and erotic immersion. It's precisely Bjork's sense of adventure that gives DEBUT such a cool exotic flavor.