Debut is the second studio album by Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk. The album was released in July 1993 on One Little Indian Records in the United Kingdom. Musically, the songs on this album took a different direction from her previous albums with her former band The Sugarcubes, with the backing music ranging from house, jazz and trip hop styles. The NME ranked Debut at number one on their list of "Top 50 LPs of 1993". Melody Maker placed the album at number six on their list of "Albums of the Year for 1993" calling it "a fantastic debut". In 1994, Q included the album on their list for top fifty albums of 1993.
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.