Björk - Vulnicura
Critic Score
Based on 41 reviews
2015 Ratings: #16 / 1021
Year End Rank: #8
User Score
2015 Rank: #11
Liked by 566 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

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.
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.

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

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

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
Uncut

Far greater than the sum of its parts, Vulnicura can be a challenge but, once immersed, it's hard to tear yourself away.

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
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
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.

90
Louder Than War
An album of heartbreak and imagination, of stunning musical boundary breaking and raw emotional power – and an album that appeared out of nowhere and in a rush.
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.

86
Paste

Vulnicura marks a bold return for such a storied singer.

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
Pitchfork

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

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
Record Collector

Vulnicura is very clearly a break-up album, perhaps the most unflinching, honest account of the deterioration of a relationship by a major artist in memory.

80
Q Magazine
A strange, intoxicating and utterly brave record.
80
Spectrum Culture

On Björk’s previous albums, her phrasing conveys a joyful and unrestrainable lust for life; on Vulnicura, it instead brings a desperate plea for emotional clarity.

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.

80
Evening Standard
Björk's ninth album is more personal, more emotional and more bleak than she has ever sounded
80
XS Noize

Vulnicura is a tough, fairly uncompromising listen and the austere lyrics are sometimes almost too much to handle, but it's a compelling album and one of Bjork's best.

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
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
Mojo

Despite their meticulous craft, these songs don't feel like curated artefacts--they feel raw, unquiet, still moving. Vulnicura might tell an old story, but it still feels new.

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

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.

60
The Sydney Morning Herald
Bjork's vulnerability management album, to unpack its title and confronting cover image, is no stroll through intensive care. Her charting of a doomed relationship cycle is alternately sombre, shattered and - not often enough - magical.
60
The Arts Desk

A belief in music's healing power is the driving force of Vulnicura.

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

UltimateLifeFrm
90

Our Icelandic queen slays yet again!

Released in January 2015, Björk's 8th album Vulnicura is one of her most personal records of her career. Recorded over the span of 2 years (2012-2014), she expresses the emotion she felt before & after she split up with American musican / arthouse filmmaker Matthew Barney (known for the 2014 experimental film River of Fundament).

Björk is one of the most extraordinary musicians to grace the industry, having one of the most unique voices I've ... read more

KaitoNkmra
93

[Björk Album Discography Dive #8/10 - Vulnicura (2015)]

When it comes down to break-up albums my mind goes straight to clichéd acoustic guitars, corny lyric delivery, and super generic pop melodies and hooks. Björk on the other hand, in typical Björk fashion, creates a breathtaking, kaleidoscopic, brain-melting, and sonically unreal break-up album.

Vulnicura is probably Björk’s most personal album up to this point, focusing mainly on her emotions leading up ... read more

felisjukebox
85

Saddest Björk record. Somehow she delivers a cruel, hurtful breakup story yet sounds beautiful and theatrical. Still cannot comprehend how Stonemilker came out of a person´s mind. She always will have a way of understanding music that is so far from us. Hope she stays with us for more time.

Ascension
93

Ayo so first let Björk cook as always.
The orchestral instruments are beautiful and add to the soundscape she sculpts alongside the electronic sounds.
And also to the man this album is directed to mannnnn fuck him.

Zess
90

EDIT (84-->90). The violins are violing

Vulnicura is what is commonly referred to as a "breakup album," meaning it draws from a romantic breakup to construct its coherence through the tracks that compose it. In this sense, the exercise is not entirely new for Björk, as she had previously drawn inspiration from her tumultuous romantic relationships (notably with Tricky and Stéphane Sednaoui) for the writing of several songs on the pre-Vespertine albums Post (1995) and ... read more

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Track List

1Stonemilker
6:49
96
2Lionsong
6:08
93
3History of Touches
3:00
89
4Black Lake
10:08
95
5Family
8:02
92
6Notget
6:26
92
7Atom Dance
8:09
feat. ANOHNI
89
8Mouth Mantra
6:09
87
9Quicksand
3:45
90
Total Length: 58 minutes
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Added on: January 18, 2015