In this world of cliches, predictable plots and simplistic, overused song structures, we can all rest easy knowing that there is at least one artist who is always ready and willing to break the mold. That artist is Björk, and with her ninth studio release, Vulnicura, she stays true to this and to herself. Returning in a way to her older sound, filled with complex string and vocal arrangements, Björk continues to grow and progress as a musician – even when it feels like a lot in the world of music remains stagnant.
With long, full songs all clocking in at over 6 minutes long (with a couple of exceptions) Vulnicura is quite the listen. Björk herself has described this as a break-up album, and the sound really reflects that. It is slow and moody, and draws upon a lot of the same stuff stylistically that made up her previous albums like Homogenic and Vespertime. There are lots of strings, and slow crawling, bubbling electronic rhythms present. Bjork’s voice crawls in a similar manner and each word is drawn out as if she wants you to catch the full weight of what she is singing.
A lot of the production work for Vulnicura was done by Arca, who has previously worked with Kanye West and FKA Twigs. He is responsible for a lot of the creeping beats, while Bjork herself composed and arranged the violin work. Overall, the album goes in a new -if darker – direction, while staying true to the roots of exactly what made her successful, which is all you can ever really ask for from any musician. If you are not already a Bjork fan, this may not be the one to win you over, but it is a strong and decent record. Stand out tracks include: “History of Touches”, “Notget” and “Mouth Mantra”.
- History of Touches
- Black Lake
- Atom Dance (Feat. Antony)
- Mouth Mantra