Bjork - 2015
Bjork is a global treasure. Few artists in the history of music are as true to their creativity and inner core as her. While I haven’t liked her last few albums very much, I would never accuse her of half-assing it, or trying to be something that she’s not. We are constantly bombarded these days with music that is basically an advertisement for a larger product. Sometimes literally a product, and sometimes the artist themselves is the product. Bjork is an artist in the truest form, and she creates because she has to create.
Rarely has an artist HAD to create an album as much as Bjork had to create Vulnicura. The album chronicles the death of her love and relationship to artist Matthew Barney, and all of the emotions that swell within her during the process. The songs are each notated with a timeline like, “9 months before”, giving context to when she wrote them in the process of the breakup. As if the lyrics, strings, and vocals weren’t intimate enough, this timeline makes the roller coaster even more tangible.
The album also makes a fascinating bookend to her 2001 album “Vespertine”, which centers more around the birth and swelling of love in various forms. While the two albums sound different production-wise, the opposition of where she was in her life in each instance inarguably links them. It’s also fitting that Vespertine was the last album of Bjork’s that I truly loved, since this one speaks to me so much.
Because of the subject matter and performance, Vulnicura isn’t an album that you can listen to often. It’s an emotional ride that’s fully satisfying, but difficult. The open wound around her heart in the album art is about as spot on for artistic symbolism as you can get. The songs are built on a foundation of string arrangements, and don’t always conform to traditional hooks, but instead ebb and flow with Bjork’s vocals as if she’s conducting.
While I would love for Bjork to make another album like Post or Homogenic, it will happen when it NEEDS to happen. That’s how Bjork works when she’s at her best.
Posted by Tambe