Bjork
Vespertine


4.5
superb

Review

by Jeremy Fisette USER (35 Reviews)
June 8th, 2007 | 55 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


Hey Kids,

I am here to do the long overdue review of Bjork's wonderful 4th album, (excluding Telegram and Slemasongs,) Vespertine.

This album is a huge departure from Homogenic. On Homogenic, her sound was improved a huge deal, being engraved with a dense, electronic sound that we all loved. But on Vespertine, Bjork reduces the fat sounds, and sticks completely with a quiet, lush soundscape. Each song on this album is slow, or at LEAST mid-tempo. She focuses more on complicated, but beautiful strings and harps, with little undertones of electronic/miscellaneous noises (the vinyl scratching on the wondrous "Cocoon," or the snow-walking on "Aurora," or the beautiful, rising strings on "Sun in My Mouth.") Bjork completely tones it down, which at first seems like a turn off after such an impossibly astounding, aggressive electronic album. But dig a little bit deeper, and you'll find that she is not trying to outdo her previous works, she is simply making a new sound. It's signature Bjork to change with each album.

The album starts off with the skipping waves of "Hidden Place," which consists of a very minimal instrumental, with Bjork floating along beautifully. When she utters, "There lies my passion, hidden / There lies my love," it is striking. But even better is the second track is another quiet number, even quieter, that consists of only a soft instrumental pulse and the aforementioned vinyl scratching noise, but this seems to be all she needs to create a lovely intimacy. Her vocals are so innocently odd, and airy, that she draws you closer to the song with each breath you hear her take. This album really is just one humongous feeding ground for radiant melodies and divine crafting.

Songs such as "It's Not Up To You" and "Pagan Poetry" capture the almost-yelling Bjork in little (more like 5-minute long) entanglements that are so appealing, and at the same time, the most accessible songs on the album.

The brief, candyland-esque "Frosti," is a pretty instrumental melody, leading into another grand highlight, "Aurora," in which Bjork belts out "Shoot me beyond this suffer / The need is great / Aurora!!" She belts it out so affectively, and purely, that you can't help but drop your jaw, and fix your eyes on the speaker in awe. Then, toning down into another quiet, minimalistic song, "An Echo, A Stain" is almost stalker-ish, or creepy, in it's hollowness. But it still is a fine track, especially in the line "I can't say no to you," where the vocals are minced into little skipping pieces.

"Heirloom" is a great dream retelling, with fun beats (some of the only real beats on the album.) But then we fall into the album's only real not-so-good track, "Harm of Will." While undeniably beautifully orchestrated, the song drifts along far too slowly with minute-long verses of only a few lines. But, we quickly get over it with the best song on the album: the closer, "Unison." This song really makes the album. At 6.5 minutes long, it is one of the best she's done. With fun beats, nice music, and some really good vocals, especially in the chorus, ("Let's unite tonight / We shouldn't fight / EMBRACE! you tight / Let's unite.") This album really is astonishingly beautiful, there's no doubt.

The only downfall is if you listen to this album all the way through, you feel like you're being dragged around by a blob of sameness. This album is best heard when you're listening to your favorite tracks of it, or within a Bjork playlist. But aside from that, this album's lush sounds and vocals are extremely recommended to anyone willing to calm down and have an intimate meeting with Bjork.




HIGHLIGHTS
Hidden Place
Cocoon
Aurora
Unison

LOWLIGHTS
Harm of Will



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Slaapkamers
June 8th 2007


596 Comments


break up the last paragraph

TheHamburgerman
June 9th 2007


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Quite a good review for a beginner.

Maybe it's me but do you people also think that the Hidden Place sound/atmosphere is very the same as in the second temple (those within a sort of forest) of Zelda: the Windwaker?

Sepstrup
June 9th 2007


1563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A bit fanboyish, but this is an awesome album. I disagree on your final remark though. I think this album is very cohesive and best heard in full.

drewhnovak
October 27th 2007


41 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I totally agree. One of the reasons I enjoy this album so much is because it's a complete work. Every song is integral to the flow of the album.

Plus the emotion in songs like "Pagan Poetry" and "Cocoon" make me want to break down and cry.

Not to mention the whole thing just sounds fantastic.

CaptainWombat
June 16th 2008


5 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album makes me want to cry everytime I listen to it. As does Homogenic.

superae
January 16th 2009


80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Hidden Place" is so amazing I don't think the rest of the album quite lives up to it. Good album, though.

StickmanSouffle
February 23rd 2009


286 Comments


I have Homogenic, Post and Debut. Seems I need to get my hands on Vespertine too.

gaslightanthem
February 23rd 2009


5209 Comments


i just can't enjoy bjork's music

ninjacat11
October 22nd 2009


233 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

There's a raw emotion to Bjork in "Hidden Place" and "Cocoon" that is simply beautiful and unmatchable.

Gyromania
October 25th 2009


15701 Comments


Best song?

ninjacat11
October 25th 2009


233 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

So many good songs on here. I recommend Hidden Place, Cocoon, and Pagan Poetry.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2009


15035 Comments


an echo a stain


is the sexiest song


holy shit

Gyromania
October 25th 2009


15701 Comments


I just listened to Cocoon, which did almost nothing for me. Pagan Poetry, however, is absolutely amazing.

Lord Moe
September 2nd 2010


6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My second favorite album, after "Homogenic". Pure magic.

dylantheairplane
November 24th 2010


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Unison is Bjork's best song fer sure

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2010


15035 Comments


joga

dylantheairplane
November 24th 2010


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Joga is in my top five, but Unison is betta


if you can't tell I am kinda going through a bjork fanboy phase

reaganomics777
November 24th 2010


401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just bumped Post up to a 4.1 with my 4.5 rating. It's a crime that Vespertine was rated higher than it.

FatChickIrl
November 24th 2010


4096 Comments


Haven't checked this out yet but will soon bc Medulla was awesome, btw album art is the tits

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 27th 2010


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is awesome



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