AOTY 2021
Björk - Vulnicura
Critic Score
Based on 38 reviews
2015 Ratings: #15 / 977
Year End Rank: #8
User Score
2015 Ratings: #12
Liked by 95 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
AllMusic

Vulnicura honors her pain and the necessary path through and away from loss with some of her bravest, most challenging, and most engaging music.

100
The 405

Björk has never compromised her sound to anyone, and Vulnicura is a stark reminder of that.

100
Tiny Mix Tapes
This is music that gnaws at your bones. And make no mistake, this is every second Björk’s album. And it is nothing short of breathtaking.
95
The Line of Best Fit

Vulnicura is stark and powerful in a way that Björk has merely danced around for years. Here, in these songs, she has shed all of her skin

91
Consequence of Sound

Vulnicura is smooth and whole, even as its singer lies shattered.

91
Pretty Much Amazing
Her new album wipes from memory all the sterile, intellectual constructions that precede it.
90
musicOMH

Vulnicura feels, overall, as if it is one of Björk’s most successful albums, one where she mostly finds sonic strategies that are well matched with her concepts and themes.

90
Exclaim!

In turning to explore themes of human nature, Vulnicura delivers much more on a musical and lyrical level than your archetypal breakup record typically does.

90
Crack Magazine

Vulnicura is Björk’s most pronounced, explicit statement of intimacy yet.

90
God Is in the TV

Each successive listen, whether focusing on the nakedly personal lyrics or the beautiful if complex music reveals another facet.

90
Northern Transmissions

Vulnicura is the black mirror reflection of the sensual Vespertine, and like that record, it is one of Björk’s strongest to date.

90
FLOOD Magazine

The enormous visceral power of Vulnicura lies perhaps in its utter lack of pity play; rather, Björk transforms every emotion into a monumental sonic peak or valley.

86
Pitchfork

It’s simultaneously her most mature feat of arranging and almost psychosomatically affecting. 

86
Resident Advisor

This narrative thread seems to have focussed Björk's compositional powers, and Vulnicura has a momentum and coherence lacking in her recent efforts.

86
Paste

Vulnicura marks a bold return for such a storied singer.

85
Under The Radar
Here we get a glimpse of Björk at her most vulnerable, and what is most surprising is just how lovely she is when she indulges her basic humanity.
83
A.V. Club

The musical moments that capture Björk’s heartbreak are frequently stunning on Vulnicura, but the whole thing is a little shy on hooks and reasons to take the grueling journey with her often.

80
Time Out London

Her ninth record ... is the obligatory break-up album, one sung with extraordinarily renewed power. It hardly seems like a conscious uncoupling: the Icelandic diva bleeds utter devastation, drenched in strings and despair.

80
NME

It’s not an easy listen, but a brave, beautiful and affecting album – an attempt to find order in chaos that, as she wishes for it, offers a “crutch” to the heartbroken.

80
Rolling Stone

Arranged for voice with orchestral strings and electronic beats, Vulnicura is a unified set of nine dark, swarming, melodically distended songs.

80
PopMatters

Vulnicura is emotionally bare and, as a result, remarkably complex, demanding of an active listener, but it’s also one of Björk’s most poetic records in a long career.

80
Spin

Vulnicura doesn't have the reach-out-and-grab-your-attention quality of Björk's more technicolor works, but it possesses a dramatic weight in its own right.

80
Drowned in Sound

If Vulnicura never truly allows us in close, it’s still a beautifully tragic view from the edge of the ‘black hole’.

80
DIY
Does the world need another break-up album? ‘Vulnicura’ dodges cliché and creates its own ground.
80
Clash

‘Vespertine’ is a master-work by my reckoning, an emotionally resonant record that truly articulated the innermost desires of its maker in a way that felt less intrusive, more inclusive.

80
The Guardian

You could say there’s something gimlet-eyed about a woman who realises her relationship is collapsing and automatically thinks: still, great material. But it’s nothing if not honest. And besides, on the evidence of Vulnicura, she has a point.

80
NOW Magazine

These nine ballads are stripped to essentials - beats, strings, stirring vocals - full of beautiful and eerie contrasts that highlight Björk's loneliness, anger and fleeting moments of optimism.

80
The Needle Drop

Icelandic singer, songwriter, producer Björk is back with another record, and it's one filled with romantic heartbreak and whimsical instrumentation.

80
The Telegraph

After the wild beach party of 2007’s Volta and the shiny wonders of 2011’s Biophilia, Vulnicura is a windswept trek of a record. But one which gradually repays its difficulties with the raw exhilaration of survival.

76
Sputnikmusic

Vulnicura is gruesome because of its trying structure, abandoning accessibility for labyrinthine ideas that casually stumble off-course.

60
Slant Magazine

One listen to Vulnicura confirms what's been evident for a long time, but will still continue to come as a disappointment for many: Björk firmly belongs to the world of the avant-garde.

Scre4meh
94
This is the definition of a breakup album. Where the fuck is Matthew Barney? Prolly hiding with Mario Abusah in the pit of assholes, forgotten by the world. I want to punch him after listening to this. Where is he?

Björk is a legend in the music community, a legend of whose albums i have never listened to, but indeed, a legend. And this proves it. The amount of emotion, of pain and anger that you feel as you sail across this tragic page/story of her life & her breakup with Matthew, ... read more
MothaOfMotha12
NR
UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT;

This probably my favorite Björk period, down to the amazing lyrical content, like the way she writes/expresses her sadness and depressive thoughts is phenomenal.

The production handled by Arca sounds remarkable, the strings, the flutes, the drums, everything.

Black lake honestly might be my favorite Björk song of all time, it might be 10 minutes long, but the time passes very quickly.

The situation that inspired this LP might be horrible, but at least it ... read more
GeMann
80
yeah this one didn't click as good for me. Don't get me wrong, I think it's beautifully produced, the vocals are empowered and emotional, but idk, just wasn't feeling it as good as other albums lol. A lot of this sounds like stuff she's done before, and for an artist who pushes the envelope with every release, I'm slightly disappointed. I think this record was very overhyped. I think it's great, and there's a lot of amazing aspects of it, it's just not the best Bjork album, or even close to it. ... read more
Inglume
78
Vulnicura's concept and subject matter hits the hardest out of every Bjork album. It's tragic, emotionally shattered, full of grief, heartbreaking and even dark at times, yet continues to be bold and engaging at the same time. Not a Bjork album I'd recommend before everything else, because Vulnicura features Bjork at a crushingly low point. However, it is beautifully mastered and masked into her music.
GersonAOTY
84
Vulnicura talvez seja o álbum que mais demorei a digestir e avaliar, tenho ele nos "armazéns" desde do verão do ano passado e nunca consegui compreender muito bem a sua estrutura nem o estilo peculiar da cantora, enquanto músicas como "Stone Milker" me encantaram na primeira vez, o resto do projeto deixava-me num estado neutro, enquanto achava a produção incrível acredito que não tinha capacidade suficiente para avaliar ... read more
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Added on: January 18, 2015