Bjork – Vulnicura Review

The legendary Icelandic Avant-Garde artist that is Bjork, is back with her ninth studio album Vulnicura. She has been pushing boundaries and testing normality for decades now, yet here she is again with a new effort which kept the involvement of iPad apps that featured in her last album as well as working with Venezuelan producer Arca. Bjork was impressed with production for Kanye West and FKA Twigs (Two of the best produced albums in recent times). She also invited British producer The Haxan Cloak to feature in the albums production and with this in mind, it will undoubtedly be another success, but will it be as masterful as her previous efforts?

The lead track from the album is ‘Lionsong’ and it features her elastic vocal filtered through manipulations and distorted warping before emerging in a clear echo amongst solemn strings along with delicate percussion samples. It continues on this meandering and fluctuating path through the direction of her vocals and strings in unison and gradually the song is advanced by more prominent collections of percussion samples. The track is that balance between light and dark atmospheres and at times these are chained together through the percussion. A solid track by her standards. ‘Stonemilker’ features her soft edged vocals amongst the more forward and prominent strings that sweep across the far reaches of the track with a more reverberating string section rumbling beneath the other instrumentals. This makes the track a wonderfully graceful one as it lifts and soars in the chorus-like segments.

More staccato strings feature in ‘Family’ with electronic bursts and shifts breaking through them. The strings then fade out into an expansive and growing soundscape from which her vocals are the only fixation. The shimmering strings then emerge from this and the song rises in a peak of sound via these instrumentals and her vocals. Another intricate and delicate track. On the whole it’s another wondrous album from Bjork that is really given clarity by Arca’s production and collaboration with her and he brings that immediacy to her music. Music that is already full of perfectly smooth sweeps and bottomless soundscapes whether its from the smooth or meandering string sections, fluid electronica and delicate percussion. It’s another well worked and innovative album and will provide stiff opposition for album of the year in 2015.

Bjork – Vulnicura = 9/10

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