Review of Vulnicura by Bjork
When somebody says Iceland, many things spring to mind. Chicken Korma Lasagne, Peter Andre or perhaps Kerry Catona (mum of the year). The slightly more intelligent may think of the very cold country that few of us have been to. Well Bjork was once the name on everybody’s lips and Iceland’s own is back.
Bjork envelopes art, style and music with her own unique brand of eccentricity. For this reason, its a shame that her new album Vulnicura had a rush released due to online leaks. The rushed release, preventing some of the theatre around Bjork to be explored is a shame and limits the latest offer to the perception of being just another pop album. Bjork is more important than that. Granted she won’t hit the commercial heights of a Beyonce, Taylor Swift or Rihanna, but she offers something extra.
Thankfully Bjork delivers to her trademark and not those pop contemporaries mentioned above. If you are looking for thumping bass lines, party bangers or compositions to dominate the airwaves, look elsewhere. There isn’t even a track on the album with the instancy of “It’s Oh So Quiet” – this is all about Bjork.
The last sentence gives the impression that Vulnicura is a collection of self-indulgence, whilst this may be true, I prefer to think of it as a genuine look in to how Bjork’s mind operates. This is a thinking man’s (or woman’s) piece. You need to indulge your self in the lyrics, contemplate the myriad of composition in the music and lose yourself in deep consideration and contemplation.
You can expect some classical influences, with some amazing strings fused with some eerie electronic beats. The sound may seem familiar, particularly to anybody that downloaded that app that accompanied Bjork’s previous album Biophilia. It is understood that some of the tracks were actually made using this as a tool. How Venezuelan producer Arca, got his head round these technological demands and understood Bjork’s inspiration, is beyond me, but he did. His experience with the likes of Kanye and FKA Twigs was obviously stretched to its limit.
The highlights for me include opening track Stone Milker and Atom Dance, which features the lyrics of Antony Hegarty. The individualism is perhaps underpinned by the ten minute long Black Lace (not to be confused by the singers of Agadoo). I will possibly upset Bjork, Arca and every music critic across the land here, but this for me is the weak spot. Its the only time when I think this is too much of a personal experiment, resulting in a little tedium. Harsh? Maybe, but its my opinion.
On balance, Bjork has delivered a great concept here in the form of Vulnicura. Yes its individual. No you won’t here it on Radio One. And No, its unlikely even one bit of content will feature in the Top 10. That isn’t such a bad thing. Bjork shows us her world and part of me, would like to pay a little visit. Would I like to live there? Probably not 🙂