In this world of cliches, predictable plots and simplistic, overused song structures, the world can rest easy knowing there is at least one artist who is always ready and willing to break the mold. That artist is Björk, and with her ninth studio release, “Vulnicura,” she stays true to this and to herself.
Returning in a way to her older sound, filled with complex string and vocal arrangements, Björk continues to grow and progress as a musician — even when it feels like many musicians remain stagnant.
With long, full songs clocking in over six minutes (with a couple of exceptions) “Vulnicura” is quite the listen.
Björk has described this as a break-up album, and the sound really reflects that. It is slow and moody, and it draws upon a lot of the same stuff stylistically that made up her previous albums “Homogenic” and “Vespertime.”
There are lots of strings and slow crawling, bubbling electronic rhythms present. Björk’s voice crawls in a similar manner, and each word is drawn out as if she wants listeners to bear the full weight of what she is singing.
A lot of the production work for “Vulnicura” was done by Arca, who has previously worked with Kanye West and FKA Twigs. He is responsible for a lot of the creeping beats, while Björk composed and arranged the violin work.
Overall, the album goes in a new — if darker — direction, while staying true to the roots of exactly what made her successful, which is all one can ever really ask for from any musician.
If you are not already a Björk fan, this may not be the one to win you over, but it is a strong and decent record nonetheless.