Bjork was always an artist that has enjoyable albums, 1-2 were fairly high. Yet, I never really went back to her music. In fact, before a partciular binge of her music, it had been almost a year in full since I’d taken a portion of my time to trudge through an album of hers.
Her personality, her passion, the way it seeps into her music and the way she interacts with her world and its people. She’s just a unique, warm, and devoted person to the people she loves and the projects she creates. Striving through and through to create albums larger than life itself.
Amongst this praise, Vespertine stands at the top of it all in my opinion. It’s the defining record for me in her discography.
Vespertine is Björk in the midst of a phase in her life where she is feeling the reciprocation of love and passion that she has invested in someone, and it shows in just how intimate, warm, and inviting this album is. Focusing on the smaller things in life, but somehow making it seem like the fate of the universe depends on every little story she tells. Coupled with production that is electronic, glitchy, beautiful, and progressive.
The album kicks off with a profound and intoxicating three-track experience, of Hidden Place, Cocoon, and It’s Not Up To You. Each of these are really the tone-setters for the record, very romantic and developing that sense of longing to spend time with someone you love the most. Matched with these very layered, almost Kid A-esque instrumentals that are slow and create a nice platform for Björk’s balladry. It’s the perfect storm for a theme that, I find quite endearing. This album really gives me that fuzzy feeling of being at the center of that bond, and it makes the rest of the albums intimate nature really click when you get into tracks like Pagan Poetry.
Which, as it’s own song, is quite possibly the most in-depth and rich romantic ballad you could ever create. I think it’s absolutely stunning and beautiful just how well Björk is able to play to the ideas of love and how it blossoms. She keeps up that theme all the way until we hit Unison, & Generous Palmstroke. The two closers.
Each of these cap the album off in a perfect way. Really embodying the essence of the record; being able to coexist with someone, be someone’s lifeline, while the two of you explore life in your own ways. Embracing your flaws, and learning to march forward in unity rather than two separate entities.
All that being said, it doesn’t remove the pure sting that is brought on by Vulnicura. Still, what Björk did on Vespertine is something I deeply admire in all senses. Through her writing, her sound, all of it. Plus, I have never had a record that has really got me into that lovey kind of mood. It just shows how infectious her music can be. No one can really write a love song like Björk, much less an entire album based around it, and I’ll stand by that statement for the long run.