How I hated Oh So Quiet. “How kooky” everyone exclaimed as I bit my lip and gnashed my teeth. Bjork was always much more than “kooky”, expressing depths in ways that left your garde well and truly avanted.
Vulcinura is a return to form, but only in the way that one grades good and “bad” Coen Brothers films. The presence of Arca, featured elsewhere in this top ten, could have made this a clinical exercise in weirdness, but Bjork allows us to “explore the negative space” (Mouth Mantra) in a personal way I’ve not seen for a while. This meant to be Bjork’s relationship breakup album, and a sense of loss is drizzled throughout: not only her own pain, but for me it also recalled memories of her work with Mark Bell.
There are no singles here, but plenty of highlights. Lionsong has a naive simplicity that wouldn’t be out of place on debut. Stonemilker is a gorgeous rhapsody and a downright earworm. Black Lake gives us a spine-tingling ten minutes: the themes suspend and resolve yet never lose us – a microcosm of the album itself.
Vulnicura’s great. She really likes albums beginning with V, doesn’t she? How “kooky”.
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