Classics and some curiosities in the history of music.
"Unravel" is the third song on the album Homogenic by Björk, which was released in 1997. The song features a prominent example of Björk's use of a half-singing, half-speaking technique which, according to folklore specialist Njall Sigurason, is comparable to that of Old Icelandic choirmen. Structurally, the song is made up of a slowly sweeping melody, saxophones, a church organ, and distant-sounding electronic beats.Even though "Unravel" was not released as a single, a video was made by Lynn Fox to promote Björk's Greatest Hits Tour. The video won a silver prize at the 2004 D&AD Awards, an event recognizing annual achievements in design and advertising.In a 2006 interview with Spin magazine, Radiohead singer Thom Yorke named "Unravel" as his favourite song ever, and said, "I'm trying to get Radiohead to do a cover because I think it's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard." On November 8, 2007, Yorke performed a cover of the song as part of Radiohead's "Thumbs Down" webcast. A snippet of the song is also occasionally performed live as an intro to Everything in Its Right Place.Homogenic is the third international solo album by Icelandic musician Björk,[nb 1] released in September 1997. Produced by Björk, Mark Bell, Guy Sigsworth, Howie B and Markus Dravs, it was released on One Little Indian Records. The music of Homogenic was a new style for Björk, focusing on similar-sounding music combining electronic beats and string instruments with songs in tribute to her native country Iceland. Homogenic was originally to be produced in her home in London, but was later recorded in Spain. Homogenic marked the first of several production collaborations between Björk and Mark Bell, whom Björk would cite as a major influence on her musical career. The album peaked at number twenty-eight on the Billboard 200, and at number four on the UK Albums Chart.Five singles were released from Homogenic: "Jóga", "Bachelorette", "Hunter", "Alarm Call" and "All Is Full of Love". Homogenic was highly acclaimed on its initial release and continues to be praised by critics, with Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine stating that "if not the greatest electronic album of all time, it's certainly the greatest of its decade".
CompositionBefore production began on Homogenic, Björk wanted to create an album with "a simple sound" and "only one flavour". Heather Phares of Allmusic described the sound of Homogenic as a "fusion of chilly strings (courtesy of the Icelandic String Octet), stuttering, abstract beats, and unique touches like accordion and glass harmonica". The album differs from her previous two releases stylistically, and Neva Chonin of Rolling Stone stated the album was "certain to be rough going for fans looking for the sweet melodies and peppy dance collages of her earlier releases". As with other Björk releases, it has been difficult for critics to classify Homogenic within a musical genre. Tiny Mix Tapes considered that "Björk has managed to create something so refreshingly unique that trying to categorize and label the music is rather dubious."Writing for Beats Per Minute, Cole Zercoe felt Homogenic represented a pinnacle work of trip hop, forming part of "a sort of holy trinity of this musical aesthetic" along with Massive Attack's Mezzanine and Portishead's Dummy.Björk wanted Homogenic to have a conceptual focus on her native Iceland. Producer Markus Dravs recalled Björk wanting it to sound like "rough volcanoes with soft moss growing all over it..." In an interview for Oor, Björk explained that "in Iceland, everything revolves around nature, 24 hours a day. Earthquakes, snowstorms, rain, ice, volcanic eruptions, geysers... Very elementary and uncontrollable. But at the other hand, Iceland is incredibly modern; everything is hi-tech. The number of people owning a computer is as high as nowhere else in the world. That contradiction is also on Homogenic. The electronic beats are the rhythm, the heartbeat. The violins create the old-fashioned atmosphere, the colouring."Björk's vocals on Homogenic range from primitive-sounding screams to a traditional singing method used by Icelandic choir men, a combination of speaking and singing as illustrated in the song "Unravel". The majority of songs on Homogenic have lyrics about love and failed relationships. The song "Jóga" was written as a tribute to her best friend and tour masseuse of the same name. Björk called "All is Full of Love" a song about "believing in love" and that "Love isn't just about two persons. It's everywhere around you". "All Neon Like" contains snippets of a poem Björk wrote called "Techno Prayer" in 1996. The song "5 Years" appeared in live form a few weeks after her breakup with musician Tricky and music journalists considered it a response to it. "Bachelorette" was originally written for director Bernardo Bertolucci for his film Stealing Beauty. Björk later faxed Bertolucci, informing him the song would be used for her album instead. "Bachelorette" and "Jóga" were written with Icelandic poet Sjón, because Björk wanted to use epic lyrics. "Immature" was written about mistakes in past relationships, shortly after the breakup with Goldie. Björk described "Pluto" as about "being plastered, that need to destroy everything so you can start again". "Unravel" is a song about lamenting love, with brief flashes of hope.