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Jóga" is a song by Björk, and the first single from her 1997 album Homogenic.

An electronic song, "Jóga" fuses these elements with Baroque and classical styles. The track's sound was partially inspired by Icelandic music, containing what have been described as "volcanic beats". Lyrically, the piece is an ode to Björk's native land and her best friend, while containing subtexts relating to emergency. "Jóga" has been critically acclaimed ever since its release, with reviewers praising her powerful vocal performance, as well as the track's composition and overall production. Commercially, the song was a moderate success, charting in several international markets.

"Jóga" has left a legacy, being ranked as one of the greatest singles of the 1990s. Through the track's blend of classical and electronic elements, Björk is said to have invented "baroque electronica".

The chorus has repetition of the phrase "state of emergency" but does not feature the song title. The song is a dedication to Björk's close friend Jóhanna "Jóga" Jóhannsdóttir – the wife of the future Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr and also her personal assistant during the shooting of Dancer in the Dark – and to their homeland Iceland. "Jóga" features electronic beats mixed with a classical string arrangement, as in the other tracks of the album Homogenic.

Björk explained about the song:

"When I started preparing for Homogenic, it was very obviously supposed to be a love album to Iceland nature. I'd learned enough about studios and beats to make modern Icelandic pop music. I was doing a lot of experimenting with beats trying to make them sound volcanic. With this song, I really had a sort of National Anthem in mind. Not the National Anthem but certain classic Icelandic songs – very romantic, very proud."

Critical reception

"Jóga" has received acclaim from music critics ever since its release. Heather Phares of Allmusic wrote that "Björk lets a little light shine through "Jóga"" and described it as a "moving song", listing it as one of the album highlights. Furthermore, Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine labelled the track "adrenaline". David Browne of Entertainment Weekly also commented on "Jóga", writing that it was more "somber" than another album track, "Bachelorette", and Bjork sings the lyrics with "the strings swelling luxuriantly". Robert Christgau, in his review for the album, placed it as one of the recommended tracks alongside "Bachelorette". In Slant Magazine's list of the Best Singles of the 1990s, "Jóga" was placed 35th; alongside the ranking, the track was praised, said to contain "one of the Icelandic singer-songwriter's fiercest vocal performances to date", as well as that the "sweeping string arrangement is its true star".

Music video

The music video was directed by Michel Gondry and filmed in Iceland.

The video for "Jóga" is a departure from her other videos as it focuses primarily on different Icelandic terrains and landscapes with Björk's presence only in the beginning and towards the end. With the aid of computer animation, earthquakes begin to separate and shift the chunks of land along fault lines. The video ends with a computerized image of an island floating inside Björk's chest.

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HASH1: AE15B28927A29439 HASH2: CBE7AFFDBED15B62 (MP3)


Alternative Rock




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Video Director
Michel Gondry

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