Bjork
Vulnicura


3.8
excellent

Review

by Jade Royal EMERITUS
March 5th, 2015 | 295 replies


Release Date: 01/20/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There is a swarm of sound around our heads

Above all else, Bjork is a problem-solver. She sings about solutions a whole lot on Vulnicura, particularly in the final suite of "Family." It's the same moment the song stills, too- she is looking for answers of her own in that warm resolution, attempting to confirm the existence of solutions somewhere. The musician isn't aiming to vanquish petty dilemmas, but instead to deeper wounds- for instance, to cope with the disintegration of familial structure after two parents no longer share love. "There is the mother and child, then there is the father and child / but no man and a woman - no triangle of love," sings Bjork in "Family," and it is a sentiment as panicked as it is harrowing. This thought, like many others on Vulnicura, underscores the wounds that come from affection, and the pain accompanying a flame extinguished long ago, once vital and vibrant. Many of these dour confessions come from the album's first half, where Bjork is just beginning to question her relationship's legitimacy. In her interview with Pitchfork earlier this year, Bjork mentioned how she's not sure when she'll be able to listen to "Black Lake"- the album's centerpiece- because of how disquieting its questions are. When Bjork asks "Did I love you too much?," the nervousness in her quavering voice says it all- she's scared to hear the answer. One of her life's constants, weathered and faded, has left her with nothing more than her thoughts, her actions, her. The beginning of Vulnicura poses this as an unbearable possibility; its end welcomes the solitude.

Seclusion can be an incomparable trauma to someone, especially a person whose life has become predicated on companionship. The reason so many worthwhile breakup albums have been written is not that we listeners find venting fascinating- it's rather that we find ourselves going through the motions to try and understand how thoroughly the experience has changed the artist, and in which directions. Bjork's ninth studio album is the first to deal with such dismal and personal details, and is her most revealing as a result- through lyricism as well as through songwriting. Vulnicura is gruesome because of its trying structure, abandoning accessibility for labyrinthine ideas that casually stumble off-course. It's no surprise that while the album's narrative is consistently necessary, its songs' moods often are at odds with each other- of course this album was going to sound messy. Vulnicura was doomed to possess a violent and virulent aesthetic the instant its purpose as a breakup album was made clear. The songs' instrumentation often comes off as sparse, as emotionally barren- this, in turn, forces listeners to rely on Bjork's vocal acrobatics to discern purpose. The songs with ample backdrop fare well, like the bombshell "Atom Dance"; the skimpier ones like "Mouth Mantra" get lost in the void.

Vulnicura was not reasonably expected by anyone to be a confidently written and expertly penned release- Bjork places its honesty before all else. But the album attempts to make the most out of its woes- every mourning process, every sign of anguish exists in order to ask questions, so that Bjork can locate an answer. Every dilemma has its solution. No song tells this story more plainly than "Quicksand," the album's final brush stroke. It endures as an affirmation of acceptance, as an endorphic rush that quells the album's many ruminations. The acidic splats of percussive throughout, anarchic and aggressive, serve to move the record forward at lightning-speed. By the end of this record, this song is what Bjork needs- it distances her from the painful truths her music has helped her unearth. It is escapism incarnate. None of Vulnicura’s truths are more vital than the one Bjork shares in its chorus: "When I am broken I am whole, and when I am whole I am broken." Solace exists within loss for Bjork, comfort within longing- perhaps it is this very inequality that keeps her on track in the first place.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Jade
Emeritus
March 5th 2015


10694 Comments


i back

LordePots
March 5th 2015


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

we already had 3 of these, where's the 2 review

Digging: Lambsbreath - MANFEELINGS

Jade
Emeritus
March 5th 2015


10694 Comments


that's what yr here for dude

LordePots
March 5th 2015


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

predictable post 0.5/5 brb writing a vulvacura review

aresx
March 5th 2015


338 Comments


why did the album art change? o.o is it a different release or something?

LordePots
March 5th 2015


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

because bjork is edgy as fuck

Tunaboy45
March 5th 2015


14873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Physical art

Digging: Roger Waters - Is This The Life We Really Want?

Tunaboy45
March 5th 2015


14873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also great review Omaha

LordePots
March 5th 2015


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah the first was the metaphysical art because bjork is so fucking transcendental and whatever

Tunaboy45
March 5th 2015


14873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Shouldn't you be on the In Absentia thread bitching about the weak lyricism or something Potsy?

LordePots
March 5th 2015


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

im in the hand. cannot. erase thread bitching about the weak lyricism right now actually

Tunaboy45
March 5th 2015


14873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know, I just responded by saying how amazing the lyrics are to Happy Returns. Get over there you're missing the action.

LordePots
March 5th 2015


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

dude im really torn right now tho i need to hate both of these albums equally

Tunaboy45
March 5th 2015


14873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

damn what a predicament

LordePots
March 5th 2015


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i had to 2 it just so that its equal even tho this is better then that

Jade
Emeritus
March 5th 2015


10694 Comments


thank you tuna : )

LordePots
March 5th 2015


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

lets not get off topic here user jacob royal

Tunaboy45
March 5th 2015


14873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hand Cannot Erase this love but maybe it can erase your ratings for the albums

LordePots
March 5th 2015


37189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

im sure it could but unfortunately my hands are tied on the matter.

Tunaboy45
March 5th 2015


14873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I sang "my hands are tied" in an Axl Rose voice



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