How much praise does Björk get, really? Even if she was canonised as a saint, even if Wednesdays were officially renamed Björkday in her honour, even if the queen read out her Christmas message wearing the swan dress that Björk wore to the 2001 Oscars, even if it were decreed that your first born child had to be thrown into the Icelandic volcano she lives in so she can feed upon it and give her blessings that the crops shall grow this year, even if we did all that I feel it wouldn’t be enough. Compare the respect and reverence meted out to Keith Richards, where every time he farts in the bath it’s reported as major news and a turning point in music itself, yet Björk- who is legitimately one of the best things ever!!- is looked upon as an elfin oddball who doesn’t do big enough choruses any more. Fuck them all: ‘Vulnicura’ (a portmanteau of the Latin words ‘vulnus’ and ‘cura’, or a ‘cure for wounds’, perhaps as close as Björk gets to a pun) is an absolutely stunning album, perhaps her best latter-day work (i.e.: the best album your Mum’s unlikely to own). For an artist that often deals with multi-layered meanings and interpretations, ‘Vulnicura’ is often disarmingly frank, despite the complex arrangements this is probably Björk’s most simple and nakedly emotional record- a break up album?? It works as a great companion piece to Sharon van Etton’s wondrous ‘Are We There’ album from last year, but while that record deals with the overbearing sadness of struggling along with a relationship slowly deteriorating, ‘Vulnicura’ is more of a grand outpouring of the lacerating emotions that commence when a relationship ends, yet is also cautiously optimistic about what the future may hold. It’s an absolutely astonishing piece of work, it’s actually quite awkward to place it on a list alongside albums with track titles like ‘Bang Me Box‘ and ‘Kookseverywhere!!!’
‘Fun’ Fact: Björk was conceived the day Malcolm X was assassinated, you do wonder what kind of things turn people on in Iceland.
I think it’s well established now that I’m generally made of much stronger stuff than you: See if you can survive the 10 minutes of ‘Black Lake‘