1988, Music

Life’s Too Good (1988) by The Sugarcubes

For Bjork fans coming to this after listing to her solo career, this album feels like a bit of glimpse into Bjork in utero: her voice is already fully formed and distinct but much of the other stuff that make Bjork Bjork seems missing or replaced by a rock band which sometimes has a male lead “singer” (he usually speaks his part), It can be slightly disorienting at first.

The music itself is upbeat, ’80s alternative rock that often owes more to British music (post punk, two-tone, British second wave new wave) than most alternative rock from 1988.

Of course, Bjork is here and her unique voice and personality make this record sound unlike anything else as nobody sings like she does, certainly nobody fronting a rock band in 1988.

And to the extent that this record succeeds primarily because of Bjokr’s personality and brash vocals. Yes, this band has their own distinctive spin on ’80s alternative rock, and that spin would probably manage to make them stand out anyway, even without such a distinctive voice up front, but it’s hard to think I would care all that much without Bjork’s voice.

The record is a little dated, production wise – even though it’s “alternative rock,” though drums are pretty ’80s and sometimes some of the other instruments sound too ’80s too. Still, it’s not a bad (second) start to a musical career.

7/10

All tracks written by the Sugarcubes.

  1. “Traitor” 3:08
  2. “Motorcrash” 2:23
  3. “Birthday” 3:59
  4. “Delicious Demon” 2:43
  5. “Mama” 2:56
  6. “Coldsweat” 3:15
  7. “Blue Eyed Pop” 2:38
  8. “Deus” 4:07
  9. “Sick for Toys” 3:15
  10. “Fucking in Rhythm & Sorrow” 3:14
  11. “Take Some Petrol Darling” (Hidden track) 1:27
  • Bragi Ólafsson – bass
  • Sigtryggur Baldursson – drums
  • Þór Eldon – guitar
  • Björk Guðmundsdóttir – vocals, keyboard
  • Einar Örn Benediktsson – vocals, trumpet

Additional personnel

  • Engineering – Brian Pugsley, Gail Lambourne, Gerard Johnson, Ken Thomas, Kjarntan Kjartansson, Mel Jefferson
  • Production – Derek Birkett and Ray Shulman
  • Sleeve – Paul White
  • Copyright – One Little Indian Records
  • Publishing – Second Wind
  • Design – Me Company
  • Distribution – The Cartel

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