Fans have watched Björk explore and experiment with electronics, orchestras, Inuit choirs, films… They’ve seen her work to create new musical instruments using gravity to produce sound, develop the world’s first album app and shock conservative America by laying an egg on the Academy Awards red carpet. Perceptive visitors to the incomparable shores of Iceland have noticed her blend of technology, classical tradition and viscerally emotional singing style evoked and reflected in the urban and natural landscapes and the visionary engineering accomplishments of her native country, her literal storytelling infused with the written history of the nation. And for those who have heard of her but don’t know much of her work, they remember the shocked glee of her one cover version hit, ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’. So why do we still listen to Björk? Easy… Because whether you see her as kooky, eccentric, visionary or unfathomable, she’s never predictable and she never fails to interrupt the inertia of mainstream music.
The early leaking of Björk’s latest set, Vulnicura, is perhaps the most fortuitous event in her career since the day she met Nellee Hooper. The reason being that it has forced her name back to its rightful place at the forefront of the music press, and back to the upper reaches of her commercial power. But is it just about the buzz? Fuck, no. Björk, like all great artists, doesn’t just team up with a new set of hot shit producers to make something new and in conformity with current mass tastes. Her body of work has created a huge lexicon of sounds, styles, subject matters and emotions that show up in one piece of work, are absent in others, and resurface again re-envisaged when they become relevant to the artist once more. There’s nothing wrong in writers having words that and sounds that best express certain experiences. They only get boring if they’re used all the time. This is a trap Björk has never fallen into, even if she has created themes and sonic landscapes that she’s returned to and taken to the next stage of their development. It is this, the reference to, and departure from all the work and exploration that has come before in her journey as a solo artist that makes Vulnicura so unique: simply, it’s all Björk, past, present and exciting future.
Vulnicura contains risk-taking elements of Debut, Post, Homogenic, Vespertine, Medúlla, Volta and Biophilia. Not suitable for those with genius-allergies.