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Vulnicura

Björk

2015

Buy At Rough Trade
Vulnicura
Album Summary

Vulnicura is the eighth studio album by Icelandic musician and singer Björk. It was produced by Björk, Arca and The Haxan Cloak, and released on 20 January 2015 by One Little Indian Records. Björk said the album expresses her feelings before and after her breakup with American contemporary artist Matthew Barney and the healing process. Vulnicura was originally scheduled for release in March 2015, in conjunction with the Björk: Archives book and an exhibition about Björk's career at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; following an internet leak, it was released digitally two months early. No singles were released to promote the album but a series of innovative music videos were created, culminating in the 360-degree virtual reality exhibit Björk Digital. Vulnicura received widespread acclaim from critics, with many considering it one of her most honest and personal albums as well as her best output in a decade. The companion album Vulnicura Strings was released on 6 November 2015. It features strings-only interpretations of the Vulnicura tracks and utilises an instrument designed by Leonardo da Vinci called the viola organista. By October 2015, the album had sold 250,000 copies worldwide./nVulnicura was met with widespread critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 87, based on 40 reviews. Many critics have referred to it as her best work in the last decade and the boldest move after 2011's Biophilia. It has also been compared stylistically to her critically acclaimed albums Homogenic and Vespertine. Praise has centered around the "emotional honesty and musical daring" used to portray the album's deeply personal themes. The lyrics have been described as some of her "strongest and most moving" and Björk's voice "miraculously expressive". On the less positive side, longtime music critic Robert Christgau claimed, "I always thought she was too lifelike for him anyway." He cited "Stonemilker" and "Atom Dance" as standout tracks.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.81

Votes

10352

Genres

  • Pop
  • Electronica

Reviews

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Fri Jun 30 2023
5

Poor Bjork, just want to give her a cuddle and a cup of tea.

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Sat Dec 02 2023
5

Bjork has always passed me by - I recognise how talented and individual she is but nothing has ever reached me emotionally. It's sad to see though how poorly she has done with spurious 1/5 votes being handed out left, right and centre. For that reason I'm giving her 5/5 in an attempt to partially redress the balance.

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Fri Jul 14 2023
5

This gave me so many chills. Literally made me forget to breathe once, haven't experienced this in a long time. Wanted to pick favorite songs at first, but after another listen I can't, they're all amazing.

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Sun May 07 2023
1

cannot be arsed with byork at all. i get the vibe that anyone who is in to bjork is so far up their own arse that they've become a mobius loop. actually quite impressive.

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Fri Jul 14 2023
5

Had to listen to this a few times to make my mind up on the rating I had only heard notget before going into this but yeah I still love Björk if my mood was aligned I would like it even more but its still amazing

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Wed May 10 2023
5

A stunning achievement - you get the sense we are hearing exactly what the artist wanted us to - a mix of digital and classical, enhanced by Bjork's incredible voice - soundscapes foreboding and consuming the listener as we are absorbed into Bjork's warped world. A work of art.

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Thu May 11 2023
5

It's hard to deescribe the inteeresting musicality of Bjork. It was well worth the listen whatever the hell it was

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Sun Oct 29 2023
5

Whoa... It has the experimentation and weirdness that I've come to expect from a Björk album, but it's not quite as weird as Medúlla (The one other Björk record the generator has given me so far). There's a recognisable structure here for the most part. I loved this. It's a cinematic, emotional blend of orchestral and electronic elements, making one hell of a breakup album. I'm such a sucker for good electronic sound design, and this proved itself to be absolutely amazing in the sound design department, especially going into the second half of the album. I'd imagine much of that is from Arca's involvement? I'm certainly going to have to look more into her work. Honestly, I think I'm really going to have to look more into Björk too. I'd imagine the generator will give me more of her work before it's done, but I'm really loving everything I've heard so far. Favourite: Notget

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Wed May 24 2023
5

j’écoute Björk en rentrant chez moi avec un kebab délicieux dans mon sac à main girl i am LIVING

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Mon Aug 21 2023
5

I love Björk, even her weird stuff is brilliant. I reckon anything she does will get 5 🌟 from me. The world is a better place because Björk exists.

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Wed May 31 2023
5

The second Bjork I listened to on this list and another one that's blowing me away. But where Vespertine is about the beautiful sides of love, this Vulnicura is about heartache. So dark and melancholic instead of romantic and tender, but just as mystical, intimate and strong. And it's the lyrics on this album that make it complete. We follow and listen to the story of a relationship that's failing. Björk is taking us from the months before the break-up to the times after. And some of the lyrics felt like a gutpunch, where the music is amazingly orchestrated around the parts of the decaying love in every song, whether we go from melancholy to pain to anger to relief. If I regret us I'm denying my soul to grow Don't remove my pain It is my chance to heal We carry the same wounds But have different cures The album grows and shows more with every listen. What a discovery.

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Thu Sep 14 2023
5

My last Bjork album (I think Post should be on the list too but what do I know) and this is a difficult one but it's about a difficult time in her life.

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Sat Sep 30 2023
5

For some reason, I lost track of Bjork's endeavours after Vespertine, but I'm glad we got this one to check out. The sweeping production has echoes of Homogenic, which I like very much, and the songs are all engaging. Terrific album.

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Sat Sep 30 2023
5

Another great Bjork album, and I almost like it just as much as Homogenic. Initially was on the fence as there are some songs that were hard to get into. This still holds to some extent, but other tracks like Stonemilker, Lionsong and Blake Lake are exceptionally strong and compensate for a 5-star rating.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
5

Björk's divorce album. Incredibly somber and intricate. Every sound, vocalization, timing is purposeful. More than just a mere breakup album, Bjork examines the more complex emotions surrounding divorce. Overwhelming grief and betrayal surrounds each song like a whirlwind. Goosebumps just experiencing this for the first time. How is she able to create such incredible works of art like this? Does the depths of her creative talent know no end? For all the Björk albums on this list, it gets hard to argue each one. Maybe Medúlla could've been cut, but having such a recent release be so impactful is such an impressive feat. Vulnicura earns it's spot easily.

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Thu Dec 14 2023
5

The vagina on her chest represents the gaping hole where her heart once existed. A fitting image for an album tackling multiple layers of emotional loss, gleaning from the experience, and moving forward. Having an idea of what to expect, I still was very surprised by this album's depth which does not fully reveal itself requiring the listener to take some time and peel it apart. Vulnicura is definitely a slow burn that works very well as a whole to the point where I couldn't tell you which song would be my favorite as all of it is excellent. I was most impressed by the arrangement of strings and synth in which Björk seemingly conjures and bends to her will, while managing to be relatable, conversational, and yet very alien. I would seriously like to know how some of these songs look on paper, how they were conceived and measured out. In all, I want to embrace the poor woman but stand in fear that she would devour me like a terrifying monster.

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Mon Dec 18 2023
5

I know Bjork rubs a lot of people the wrong way but if you look past the perceived "weirdness" of her style, she really is a brilliant artist. 'Vulnicura' may be her most mature release to date. In her early punk and electronic releases, she was recording in toilets at clubs. Since then she's grown and explored classical structures, world music and the avant garde and brought all of that experience into this release. This is a break up album unlike any you've heard before, particularly notable as it comes from an older woman, rather than the likes of Taylor Swift. In some ways it's a shame that this challenge doesn't have more of Bjork's early work, which is more fun to listen to. But this is definitely an impressive work of art.

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Fri Feb 16 2024
5

my first björk outside of her iconic 90s trilogy of albums. stunning.

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Sun May 07 2023
4

This record makes my knees tremble. I wanked so hard that my helmet came off.

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Thu Sep 28 2023
2

While I can appreciate Björk as an artist, I can't say this album did much for me. A few of the songs were interesting, but it felt like it belonged more as background music for a film or something - not great listening on its own. I ended up skipping the last two songs because they were just a little grating.

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Fri Jun 02 2023
1

Album by Bjork in the pretty specific style of Bjork. It might be a hit or miss at times, but oh boy, it was a massive miss on the occasion of Vulnicura. Maybe my musical taste is down in the gutter, but I just couldn't listen to it at all. I'm sorry Bjork, you are a better actor than musician.

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Wed Jan 03 2024
1

The first song starts out with the following lyrics, choked out syllable by syllable, over seemingly random meandering synthesizer strings: “A juxtapositioning fate / Find our mutual coordinates / Moments of clarity are so rare / I better document this / at last the view is fierce / all that matters is this / who is open chested / and who is coagulated” I’m just not sure how I can take that seriously. This is the second Bork album I’ve received in the 1st 75 days. I rated the 1st at 2/5, with the comments “I thought the first couple of songs were pretty good. Sort of an ambient, ethereal feel. But with each passing song it held my interest less and less. Just not really my ‘thing’. 2/5….” Well, the second album jumps straight into the bit about each song holding my interest less and less. This doesn’t offend me, I don’t hate it. But I sure don’t like it either. As with the prior Bork album, it’s just not my thing. I’m bored by this, and that’s disappointing. Frankly, as I get further through this, it’s starting to kind of irritate me. I’m taking a break at about 1/2 way through, but I’m not expecting it to improve…. - - - - It didn’t. I admit, I gave up somewhere in the middle of the 7th song. I guess I’m just not cool enough. 1/5

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Fri Jun 02 2023
4

Lionsong is cool. Bjork songs are so hit or miss to me, always these huge swings and their either connect hard or miss the mark. Atom Dance is cool.

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Fri Jun 02 2023
4

Interesting, as björk often is

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Thu Jun 22 2023
4

So, it turns out I'm a Bjork fan

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Thu Jul 06 2023
4

I remember the hype this album received when it was due to come out: "this is Björk's breakup album", "this is her most personal album ever", yada yada yada. And while most breakup albums become tedious, maudlin and vapid at times, Björk always finds a way to make things interesting. It's as though you're right in front of her as she belts out about the pain experienced in her family falling apart and you have next to no choice but to immerse yourself in her sadness that's aided by her ever reliable collaborative spirit that combines orchestration and electronics. Overall, not an easy listen but one can hope that things turn out for the best. Favorites: Stonemilker, History of Touches, Black Lake, Notget, Atom Dance, Quicksand.

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Fri Jul 07 2023
4

This is a rather beautiful album. I can't go 5 because it's really iis an album that you have to be in the mood to hear. A solid 4 for sure.

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Sun Sep 24 2023
4

Well I braced myself for yet another Björk album but thankfully it was one of the good ones. With Björk it has been either good or terrible - you don’t know if you’re going to get food or an uppercut to the chin. This one is actually one of the better better ones - cinematic - almost conventional - and a semblance of recognisable structure - so I actually enjoyed it. It’s still Björk mind you - unmistakable - but if one can tolerate her - one would like this one - and actually find reason to return to it.

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Thu Oct 05 2023
4

Near paralyzingly brooding, but I feel like it had a hair too much bloat to earn a 5th star. But hey, Bjork really knows how to get you thinking no matter what.

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Wed Dec 06 2023
4

It's Bjork, never know what your going to get. Liked not loved it

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Thu Aug 24 2023
3

Surprisingly accessible given her other efforts, but maybe that’s just my fatigue from the last round of singles being played constantly at the station. I will give credit to Björk for carving a niche that is unmistakably her own - while hard to nail down, the instrumentation and arrangements she builds on would be recognizable immediately in any context. This LP definitely suffers due to tracks running longer than the ideas that fuel them remain interesting, but for such an out-there album I found myself jamming along decently well. Given the fatigue that comes with listening to 1001 albums (some seemingly identical to one another in their blandness), I appreciate any artist who doesn’t give two fucks about respecting Western arrangements or ideas of what music should be, even if the execution is not always my thing or their name sounds like a lamp from IKEA.

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Wed May 10 2023
1

Too many Bjorrrrk albums on herrrre. This isn't one of the betterrrrr ones. 🏴‍☠️

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Wed Jan 03 2024
1

I have no idea why she's on the list so many times.

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Wed Jan 03 2024
1

As tedious as it is to have Bjork on this list so many times the one quality of her work is the string arrangements. Otherwise, please stop.

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Fri Apr 05 2024
1

I like the versatility and vulnerability of her voice, but I don't understand her music.

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Wed May 31 2023
5

Great album, love the instrumentals and the vocals.

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Tue Aug 01 2023
5

I listened twice, i think it might be her best. Not everyone’s cup of tea of course.

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Sun Sep 10 2023
5

Voce straordinaria, melodie straordinarie, 1 ora volata 5/5

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

Heel Emotioneel. Mooie teksten. Experimentele muziek. Top!

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Sat Nov 25 2023
5

Once again, I'm gonna need some more dimensions in my scale. I can't compare this in any way to, say, Snoop Dogg or The Electric Prunes. This is abstract art, which I see after listening is appropriate since it was created for an exhibit at MOMA. Listening definitely feels like work. But it’s musically complex and emotionally deep and maxes out the uniqueness dimension.

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Mon Nov 27 2023
5

Calming and weird. First album of hers I have liked.

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Mon Jan 22 2024
5

Enjoyable experience. Wonderful album. Beautiful.

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Fri Feb 16 2024
5

prrr prrr ptts, uuuhooo pptt ptttss rrttss

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Tue Feb 20 2024
5

This album is Björk at her most vulnerable. Written and recorded in the wake of a breakup, this album ruminates in the heartbreak and healing process showing the whole process. I found this album to perfectly show the cycle of grief which is not a cycle at all. It waxes and wanes, gets caught in though cycles, and has breakthroughs before falling back into sadness. The music is stark, jagged, and lush at times and perfectly complements the lyrics. Björk’s delivery commands attention and is halting, drawn-out, and forceful.

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Fri Feb 23 2024
5

One of her best. This one was a return to form, especially after putting out a series of albums that weren't bad by any stretch, but had seemed kind of formless. She sounds reinvigorated here, more emotional and ambitious than she had been in years.

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Fri Feb 23 2024
5

Really enjoyed listening to this! This LP combines some absolutely stunningly gorgeous orchestral and ambient synth moments with energetic, creative, dark techno sounds (courtesy of Arca, who is perhaps best known for producing on the off-the-wall production showcase Yeezus). The hectic back-and-forth between beautiful/mournful and manic/abrasive moods, along with Bjork's powerful vocals, makes this a compelling breakup album. 5 stars!

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Fri Feb 23 2024
5

This is one of those album you need multiple listens to fully appreciate. However on first listen I can tell this is very good, not perfect, but it has some very good arrangements and I really like the sound of the drums. Currently a 4.5 but I could see it becoming a 5 on future listens.

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Sun Mar 24 2024
5

Björk's my favorite artist, so I was obviously very excited to get this album today. Her music touches me like no other and this especially has got me through some shit. One of my all time favorites.

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Wed Apr 03 2024
5

Already looking forward to giving this one another spin. It does seem to hark back to some of her earlier albums but with a modern spin I guess. Faves for now: History Of Touches, Atom Dance

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Thu Jan 18 2024
5

For a first Bjork album, I'm not sure how this compares to her other work, though from what I've heard so far, It's absolutely gorgeous. I can't really quantify it but oh my GOODNESS it is beautiful.

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Thu Apr 11 2024
5

Gut-wrenching, took me back to my past breakup. Cool IDM elements, I wish there were more! 5 stars to boost the average rating.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
5

I love Bjork. She's almost certainly an alien. And I just love her work. This is such a heartbroken masterpiece. I hate to see others in pain, but I'm listening to the art recovered from the aftermath.

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Sat May 04 2024
5

Can understand why many don't like this but few artists can fuse this level of experimentalism with accessibility and emotional power. This still sounds like the future close to a decade on.

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Fri May 10 2024
5

I felt in love with Homogenic a long time ago, but I'm not very regular to follow Björk's work & career. But I'm generally happy to hear something from her: her universe is very distinctive and personal, and I like the way she intertwins her peculiar vocals with the music. Vunicura is a solid album, perhaps calmer than Homogenic but all the ingredients I like in her music are there. And it was refreshing to listen to her after a serie of pretty "meh" records... I even listen to it twice.

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Wed Jun 19 2024
5

An element of weirdness but great

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Tue Jun 25 2024
5

This grew on me so much! I love how concise and vulnerable the lyrics are. I love how the album goes from luscious string arrangements to haunting electronica over the course of the runtime. It's up there with Blood on the Tracks as an all-time great breakup album. Best Track: Lionsong Worst Track: Notget

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Thu Apr 27 2023
4

Björk is another universe. Ideal music to sit back , relax and listen. Comes the closest to whale songs and represents, i guess the wide landscapes of Iceland ( never been there). Nice album.

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Wed May 17 2023
4

Whoa do I like Bjork? Kind of! Yes!

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Thu May 25 2023
4

Pas certain si je n'ai pas aimé ca ou non. c'est tellement speciale. C'est original et ca change de la musique traditionnelle. 4

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Fri Jun 30 2023
4

Standard Bjork, the great bits are phenomenal but then somehow loses me.

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Sun Jul 23 2023
4

Very enjoyable, which was surprising to me.

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Mon Jul 24 2023
4

Maybe too intellectual for me, but compelling

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Fri Jul 28 2023
4

I have always liked.this album ever since it released. I never reach out to it much because Björk is not an artist I really keep track of. It was fun having another go at this album. The funny part about this album is, is that I like it a lot but I can't put my finger on it why though.

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Sun Jul 30 2023
4

The most chamber-y of her works, intense and dark and lovely. And it’s unlike every other break-up record, if that’s what it is, one has ever heard, having more in common with, say, Arvo Part, than, say, Gwen Stefani. It's sad and affecting and one might spend more time with the lyrics, but lacks motivation to do that. Bjork is fully sui generis but can also be fairly charged with being self-indulgent and excessively arty (e.g., over-engineering the originality to the exclusion of many other likable qualities). It might still be a toss-up with Sigur Ros if one were forced to choose only one Icelandic artist for the balance of all time.

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Fri Aug 11 2023
4

The luscious arrangements and Björk’s heartbreakingly personal subject matter make this definitively her best record.

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Mon Aug 14 2023
4

This is probably my least favorite of the Bjork albums that I've gotten on this list. However, the other Bjork albums I got were absolute bangers, and this album is really good, so feel free to keep feeding me the worst Bjork albums that you have 4/5

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Mon Aug 14 2023
4

In collaboration with Arca, Bjork makes a highly atmospheric record that uses both bright baroque and dark heavy synths to create a strong electronica record. An emotionally powered piece, the choice of electronica to manipulate or duplicate her voice uses the advantage of her voice as an impressionistic instrument to express her emotions by texture. First half is ethereal and powerful, her usual glitch pop song structure. Second half becomes a lot more chaotic and horrifying, with harsher glitches and industrial sound effects. Features some techno dance tracks. All tracks are good, with moments almost as memorable and powerful as Vespertine.

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Thu Aug 17 2023
4

I love Bjork and her weird vagina outfit and her weird jellyfish hat and her weird swan dress and her weird music

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Fri Sep 01 2023
4

Björk has been an artist I've know that I needed to actually listen to more, glad this popped up. A very unique sound that I dug quite a bit and the arraignments were gorgeous. 4/5

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Mon Sep 11 2023
4

Me gusta el concepto que maneja, la voz y la interpretación es angelical y simplemente espectacular, es un álbum escuchable para cierto tipo de momentos.

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Wed Sep 20 2023
4

Many weird and wondrous songs.

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Wed Oct 11 2023
4

3rd Listen Bjork from Iceland Genre: Electronic, avant-garde, ambient She is so weird is works.... Her style is unique - nobody can ever copy her. This is definitely a mood album. You have to be in the right frame of mind to just sit and listen to it ... or just play it in the background while to contemplate something critical or dark in your life. Standouts: Black Lake, Stonemilker, Lionsong. 4/5

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Fri Oct 13 2023
4

Great example of phenomenal abstract pop. Not Björk's best but it's up there and Björk owns that genre so it's still phenomenal

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Mon Oct 16 2023
4

Fully Bjork. I love Bjork, but her more recent work has suffered from a lack of mixing up the pace and atmosphere throughout the album. Still gorgeous, but not as fully amazing or exciting as some of her earlier work.

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Mon Oct 16 2023
4

Instrumentals sound like if Aphex Twin met disney which is amazing. I have to get used to her singing style. My favorite track was Notget

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Fri Oct 20 2023
4

Pretty good, great voice as always, soothed my soul in a time of need. Will need to give it a 2nd listen

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Wed Nov 01 2023
4

This is one of my least favorite Björk albums, but it is still really good! It gets 3 stars on the Björk scale but 4 stars here!

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Wed Nov 01 2023
4

I'm not sure how to rate this. It's very arty, but I did NOT have a great time. But you can really feel her pain and expression..........

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Fri Nov 10 2023
4

Very avant-garde. I really enjoyed the stringed orchestra and the progressive electronic beats. The vocals are, strange to say the least. Just very disjointed. Almost as if she is doing her best to make herself not understood by adding unnecessary pauses in the middle of words. With different vocals, and more well defined melodies, this would've earned 5 stars. However, I reserve 5 stars to albums that absolutely blow me away. This did not, but it was still a very strong album and worthy of an honorable mention.

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Mon Nov 13 2023
4

Pretty much everything about this album is objectively great, but it just didn’t click with me. I could picture myself regretting not giving this album a 5 in the future.

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Mon Nov 13 2023
4

A beautiful, devastating album about the end of love. Bjork makes super interesting music in a style that is unmistakably hers. This one came up just short of a 5, maybe if I heard it in a different time of my life the mood of the album would more strongly resonate with me. 4 - Will definitely listen again

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Wed Nov 15 2023
4

Vulcinura has some of the most aimless bits of Björking, vocally; The beginning's especially guilty, and the production is almost too quiet to prevent boredom. The record really picks up, though, and immaculate design with growing classical influence saves it by the end. Full of anti-bangers, really: I can only imagine being unsettled by individual cuts.

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Thu Nov 16 2023
4

Musical genius and visionary. One of the few that fit that description. As always, intriguing, challenging, and ambitious. 4 stars.

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Thu Nov 23 2023
4

This one probably deserves all the praise, and Björk continues to impress with her groundbreaking vocal. But sometimes it feels like a chore to listen to a Björk album, and this was one of those times.

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Sat Nov 25 2023
4

Björk has been a mixed bag for me. This album follows the way of Medúlla for me in that I can appreciate the artistry despite not enjoying the art. Still, there is a strange beauty in some parts that call out to me. My visit to Iceland actually gave me a little more connection to this cold, stark sound. While ultimately I can’t say I enjoyed this and will return to this often (or maybe ever), some parts were quite striking.

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