Bjork
Vulnicura


4.5
superb

Review

by dylantheairplane USER (70 Reviews)
January 25th, 2015 | 273 replies


Release Date: 01/20/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If Homogenic and Vespertine had a baby...

Bjork was hurt. She was hurt really bad once, and she has a lot to say about it. That much becomes abundantly clear just two minutes into Stonemilker, the sprawling, seven-minute opener to Vulnicura. The expertly crafted string arrangements swim on top of a subtly constructed beat, not sounding far off from the Homogenic gem, Joga. But while Joga took this impeccable style that compliments Bjork’s iconic voice so well and condensed it into an classic pop song structure, Stonemilker unravels this formula and flows boundless in a cathartic release, setting the tone for the rest of the album. This sense of sprawl is a running theme throughout Vulnicura, with all but two of the nine tracks extending well over six minutes in length, each utilizing a perfect marriage of strings and beats, as provided by the Venezuelan newcomer, Arca (notable for his work with FKA twigs and Kanye West, as well has his excellent debut album, Xen), all to varying degrees across this collection of songs.

Lyrically the album deals with a pretty familiar theme. Heartbreak and loneliness are about the most standard topics in pop, but Bjork takes these themes and breaks them down into poetic words that encompass so much feeling without the clichés. Family for example focuses on Bjork’s personal disillousionment after her family triangle between mother-father-child was severed. On the albums centerpiece, the ten minute Black Lake, Bjork sings “You fear my limitless emotions/I am bored of your apocalyptic obsessions/Did I love you too much.” This is scorned lover role that even the listener feels uncomfortable hearing Bjork play. While calling Black Lake a diss track might be slightly off base, it is not hard to pick up the anger in her voice layered beneath the wave of heartbreak emotion she expels across the song.

While Vulnicura uses strings as it’s crutch to support the sadness of Bjork’s words, there are moments where the beats are allowed to take control. The urgent Mouth Mantra has a quick glitch-inspired beat. If Stonemilker was this album’s Joga than Mantra would be what Pluto was on Homogenic, again broken out of form and allowed to expand violently.
Frankly, Vulnicura is an exhausting album, and intentionally so. Upon release Bjork made it a point to say that the concepts of this album are intentionally “self indulgent” as she put it. This is like a peak into her private life and thoughts that even she has issues revisiting still. All nine of these songs are a release of intense feeling, but in a sense this can cause a bit of a downside for the album. Every single one of these nine songs is incredible in their own way, but when assembled altogether, it makes the album very heavy to listen to. There is never a moment to breathe under the emotional weight. Though it seems almost counterintuitive, the album really begs for just one truly accessible song to act as a spindle for the rest of these cathartic waves of wrap around. There is no Army of Me, or Bachelorette here, even 2011’s scientific-app album Biophillia had more conventional pop songs than anything found on Vulnicura. The most conventional here would be Lion Song, featuring the most clearly distinguishable chorus, in which Bjork sings, “Maybe he will come out of this loving me” and while it is beautifully put together, it doesn’t quite satisfy what is needed to truly complete the album.

Regardless, the body of work that Vulnicura is constructed as, is truly an incredible pool of songs. They act as both an emotional release, but also showcase a unique style for Bjork. While the sounds found here are not as drastic of a change in sound as say, her collaborations with Timbaland on Volta, this album is less about developing new sounds than it is a marriage of debatably her two most impeccable albums, the string and beat-heavy Homogenic and the intricately woven textures of Vespertine. While Vulnicura might not have some of the innovative qualities that these albums had, it is a strong addition to Bjork’s catalogue of music that is already impressive beyond words.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
dylantheairplane
January 24th 2015


2181 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I am pretty rusty on review writing, but I just thought I would get this out there.



Amazing album!

SomeSayShesNaive
January 24th 2015


535 Comments


Fantastic album I must say.

iamamanfromspace
January 24th 2015


1030 Comments


This album is my first time listening to Bjork and I must say so far I do 'Notget' what people love about this ha ha ha but I will say I was enjoying it more in the second half when it got more glitchy

treeqt.
January 24th 2015


16962 Comments


must be some ugly parents

dylantheairplane
January 24th 2015


2181 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'd say this is a pretty bad starting point for someone just getting into Bjork honestly. I'd either start with Homogenic or Post, or hell even going chronologically from Debut to this.

SomeSayShesNaive
January 24th 2015


535 Comments


This is, in no resembling way, even within 10 miles of a 1.0 out of 5.

iamamanfromspace
January 24th 2015


1030 Comments


Feeling that 1.0 rating more than any of you other guys' ratings to be honest haha.

I'll give this another listen sometime

treeqt.
January 24th 2015


16962 Comments


my rym friends seem to agree with me

i love rym

rym is the best

Sturgis
January 24th 2015


15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nice review.



lmfao that 1.0 rating

treeqt.
January 24th 2015


16962 Comments


http://i.imgur.com/0PLotqg.jpg



mryrtmrnfoxxxy
January 24th 2015


14996 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Wag

treeqt.
January 24th 2015


16962 Comments


you too my best friend foxxxy with three x

Gyromania
January 24th 2015


26598 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

haven't read the review yet but i agree with your summary. vespertine in particular has a lot in common with this one

BMDrummer
January 24th 2015


14473 Comments


finally a rev

beefshoes
January 24th 2015


7199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can't wait to jam this.

wtferrothorn
January 24th 2015


5800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It was inevitable that this would get a review soon, glad the 1st one was really good. pos'd

AmericanFlagAsh
January 24th 2015


8663 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is mapleqt hating on this as well

Digging: Stella Donnelly - Beware Of The Dogs

beefshoes
January 24th 2015


7199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The opening track rules so hard.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 25th 2015


29845 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Dylan still exists! Holy crap!

KILL
January 25th 2015


81233 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

trees just mad bjorks a faux gook



lionsong is life changing



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