The Sugarcubes' great debut album, which combined spiky but melodic indie-rock with the vocal acrobatics of Björk and declamations of shouty-man Einar Orn. It's refreshing now to remind me of the time when she was known as "Björk from the Sugarcubes", but it makes me wish she'd get a band again and do a little bit of rock on the side. This album astonished those who had heard it with not only with its scorching musical energy, but with some of the most psychotic and peculiarly imaginative lyrics around. The band's undebatably best song "Birthday" (and also "Sick for Toys") put me in mind of Iain Banks's novel "The Wasp Factory", with their stories of twisted children. This is easily the finest of their three albums. While the rambling "Here Today.." and the cleaner-cut "Stick Around for Joy" have their moments, they never bettered the freshness of their debut.
June 27, 2004