Bjork - Vulnicura - 2015 Electronic Indie Pop - Deluxe Edition 2LP + Exclusive Artwork
Bjork - Vulnicura
Label: One Little Indian
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Deluxe Edition
Comes in gatefold sleeve and a paling acetate slipcase with additional artwork.
Comes with printed inner sleeves with additional artwork, lyrics, credits and "hand written" acknowledgements / appreciations from Bjork.
Comes with a sticker in front:
"björk.vulnicura. deluxe edition. includes mp3 download card + exclusive acetate artwork. tplp1231."
Country: UK, Europe & US
Released: 21 Mar 2015
Genre: Electronic, Pop
Style: Modern Classical, Experimental
A3 History Of Touches
B1 Black Lake
C2 Atom Dance
D1 Mouth Mantra
Phonographic Copyright (p) One Little Indian Ltd.
Phonographic Copyright (p) Wellhart Ltd
Copyright (c) One Little Indian Ltd.
Copyright (c) Wellhart Ltd
Mastered At Black Saloon Studios
Pressed By MPO
Designed At M/M (Paris)
Arranged By [All Strings, All Vocals], Design Concept [Cover Character] Björk
Artwork [Headpiece and Cape] Maiko Takeda
Bass Borgar Magnason (tracks: A1, B2, C1)
Cello Hrafnkell Orri Egilsson (tracks: A1, A2, C1 to D2), Júlía Mogensen, Margrét Árnadóttir, Sigurður Bjarki Gunnarsson*, Sigurgeir Agnarsson
Engineer Bart Migal (tracks: A1, A2, B1 to D2), Chris Elms (tracks: A1, A2, B1 to D2), Frank Arthur Blöndahl Cassata (tracks: A1 to B2, C2 to D2)
Illustration [Slipcase] Andrew Thomas Huang
Management Derek Birkett
Mastered By Mandy Parnell
Mixed By Chris Elms (tracks: A1, B2), Haxan Cloak, The
Musical Assistance [Mix Session Assistants] Graeme Baldwin, Joel Davies
Musical Assistance [String Recordings Assistants] Biggi, Mani Þorkelsson
Photography By Inez And Vinoodh
Recorded By [Strings] Chris Elms, Frank Arthur Blöndahl Cassata
Recording Supervisor [Strings] Michael Pärt (tracks: B1, C2, D1)
Viola Guðrún Hrund Harðardóttir (tracks: A1, A2, B2 to D2), Herdís Anna Jónsdóttir (tracks: A1, C2), Jónína Auður Hilmarsdóttir (tracks: A1, A2, B2 to D2), Móeiður Anna Sigurðardóttir* (tracks: A1, A2, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2), Sarah Buckley (tracks: A1, C2), Þórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir (tracks: A1, A2, B2 to D2), þórarinn Már Baldursson (tracks: A1, A2, B2 to D2)
Violin Björk Óskarsdóttir (tracks: A1, B2), Bryndís Pálsdóttir (tracks: A1, B2), Dóra Björgvinsdóttir (tracks: A1, B2), Geirþrúður Ása Guðmundsdóttir (tracks: A1, B2), Gunnhildur Daðadóttir (tracks: A1, A2, B2 to D2), Helga þóra Björgvinsdóttir (tracks: A1, B2), Hlín Erlendsdóttir (tracks: A1, B2), Ingrid Karlsdóttir (tracks: A1, B2), Kristján Matthíasson (tracks: A1, B2), Kristín Björg Ragnarsdóttir (tracks: A1, B2), Laufey Jensdóttir (tracks: A1, A2, B2 to D2), Margrét Kristjánsdóttir (tracks: A1, B2), Matthías Stefánsson (tracks: A1, B2), Olga Ólafsdóttir (tracks: A1, A2, B2 to D2), Pálína Árnadóttir (tracks: A1, A2, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2), Sigrún Harðardóttir (tracks: A1, B2), Una Sveinbjarnardóttir (tracks: A1, A2, B2 to D2), Ólöf þorvarðardóttir (tracks: A1, B2)
This is a relationship breakup album, infused with heartache, and will surely reduce some to tears. I was taken aback by how emotional this record is at its high points, to the extent where it seems both thrilling and draining at times. Musically, strings and all sorts of electronics provide a riveting backdrop for Bjork's entrancing voice. It's written chronologically, starting nine months before her split with Matthew Barney.
`Stonemilker' opens with beautiful, gloriously elegiac strings. The lyrics contain a warning of what's to come, however, with Bjork pleading for openness: "show some emotion", "I wish to synchronise our feelings". She ponders whether one person can remain open while another is "shut" but the music remains the most immediate and hopeful sounding that it will ever get on the album. On another record, it could be the optimistic closer.
Here it leads into `Lionsong', with more strings and Bjork's voice carrying a gorgeous melody, the lyrics conveying more doubt: "maybe he will come out of this loving me, maybe he won't". The first subdued beats arrive, it moves around, the song returning to the main theme. Bjork seems to accept being confused: "sign of maturity, to be stuck in complexity", before being resigned at the end: "somehow I'm not too bothered, I'd just like to know".
`History of Touches', opens with fragmented synths and "I wake you up in the middle of the night to express my love for you" (never a good sign!). She says "I wake you up feeling this is our last time together" and seems to be mentally summarising the relationship. Musically though, this three minute interlude breaks the melodic flow completely. On first listen this was jarring but on reflection probably necessary before starting on the next track.
This is the haunting epic `Black Lake', which opens with solemn strings, Bjork confirming "our bond has broken, my shield is gone". She is "blind, drowning in this ocean", "my soul torn apart, my spirit is broken". The mood subtly changes with Bjork "bored of your apocalyptic obsessions". The first consistent beats on the record break in, and Bjork becomes angry and accusing: "You betrayed your own heart, corrupted it all", " family was always our sacred mutual mission which you abandoned", "you have nothing to give, your heart is hollow". The music becomes fierce and she returns to herself: "I am a glowing shiny rocket, returning home, as I enter the atmosphere I burn off layer by layer". For me this ten minute track is the album's centrepiece, a stunningly emotional albeit rather grim experience.
`Family' logically continues the story, with deathly unsettling strings which immediately create a mournful funereal atmosphere. Bjork questions "where do I go to make an offering" to respect the "death of my family". It builds and the strings suddenly change, jumping and struggling, before opening up. I had the image of breaking through from a crypt to large underground cavern. Bjork's voice becomes choral and seems more hopeful: "I raise a monument of love", "it will relieve us from the pain". The music swirls, her voice soars and the song drifts to a close.
I was expecting, perhaps willing, for a return to a more upbeat music, to metaphorically emerge into sunlight. "Notget", with its initially jaunty start seems to confirm this, but quickly begins to sound macabre and then strident. Bjork says "if I regret us, I am denying my soul to grow, don't remove my pain, it is my chance to heal", "we carry the same wound, but have different cures". A lovely theme appears, but briefly, and the shifting patterns keep you constantly off balance - maybe it's meant to reflect a conflicted state. The refrain "love will keep us safe from death" never seems as optimistic as the words might suggest and grows ever more menacing with each repetition. A thoroughly uneasy but gripping song.
The start of `Atom Dance' (featuring Antony Hegarty) seems to provide some simple relief from the oppressive mood, with pleasantly bouncing strings. Her voice is somewhat distant, her thoughts more abstracted: "I am fine tuning my soul to the universal wavelength", "our hearts are coral reefs in low tide, love is the ocean we crave, restlessly turning around and around". The music grows progressively unsettled, and Antony Hegarty (she of the Johnsons) joins. It seems to relax into a recognisable pattern before fragmenting. From a lilting start this becomes a markedly avant-garde piece, which I have enjoyed on repeated listens but Is likely to divide opinion.
'Mouth Mantra' increases the electronics and beats, though without adding a recognisable rhythm. Bjork's voice seems distanced and the emotion further abstracted. Understanding the lyrics becomes a struggle. Her voice grows stronger as it progresses, the song becoming almost anthemic at one point. Repeated listening has helped to assimilate it, after initially finding it rather alienating. If the idea was to create a feeling of turbulence then she succeeded.
Björk - Family (Vulnicura)
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Björk - Stonemilker
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Bjork - Not Get
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Bjork - Mouth Mantra
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|Label||One Little Indian|