Fossora is Björk’s tenth studio album, and at this point she really has nothing more to prove to anybody, she could basically never show up in public ever again and she would do that with a very cemented and incredible legacy. But, fortunately for us, she decided to give her fans a new batch of songs in the form of Fossora, an incredible 54-minute journey that’s possible to go down as one Björk’s best projects, which is saying A LOT.
The album kicks off with Atopos, an experimental pop banger that right at the starting point makes clear to the listener the heavy gabber influence that’s on this album, Björk sings on top of this disjointed clarinet instrumental about overcoming differences and reconnecting. The real highlight of the song though is the incredible outro where the gabber influences I mentioned is very much apparent through these heavy, pounding, and awesome beats.
Ovule is a song I really enjoyed when it was released as a single, but now listening to it in the context of the album, I think it’s sort of misplaced. Don’t get me wrong, I still think It’s a very good song, but I don’t think it fits too well at this point in the track list as it is kind of a slow burner and may let the listener down after the explosion that is Atopos.
Mycelia is a very weird and experimental vocal interlude, it sort of feels like a weird detour, but it paves the way very nicely to Sorrowful Soil, the sad but empowering song dedicated to Björk's late mother. With vocals that sound like the most beautiful church's choir, lines like "In a woman's lifetime she gets four hundred eggs but only two or three nest" and the repetition of the phrase "You did your best, you did well" at the backend of the song, we can see how strong of an image Björk has of her mother.
But to me these last two songs are just Björk's way of getting us ready to the beautiful and tragic Ancestress, the first song Björk has released singing with her son, a song that I can only describe as truly being Björk's open letter to her mother, a lovely but mournful letter. In this song, Björk talks about her mother’s last moments in such a poetic and sad way that makes it very hard not to tear up a little when diving into the lyrics. Talking about how she feels her mother’s time is coming and that she needs to be there for her with lines like “My ancestress' clock is ticking, her once vibrant rebellion is fading. I am her hope-keeper, assure hope is there, at all times” and even going as deep as to describe her mother’s literal final moments in the heart wrenching lines “The machine of her breathed all night, while she rested revealed her resilience, and then it, it didn't” :(
The album follows up with Victimhood, a dark gabber banger. I’m just gonna be honest here, I’m a little stunned by this track, it has these scary synths at the beginning that makes me imagine there’s some Giant Mushroom monster coming, in fact this whole track feels very monstrous and grand. At the backend of it all we also get some heavy, glitchy gabber beats followed by another harmonic vocal experimentation on Björk's part. I just love the darker vibe this song is going for, it made for one of my favorite Björk songs for sure.
“Allow” is a small change of pace in the album, Björk and Emilie Nicolas with her vocals, alongside an instrumental consisting of synths and flutes, create a very ethereal and somewhat druggy atmosphere that I like to describe as mushroom core, not my favorite moment on the record though, it’s not a bad song, matter of fact it’s very pretty, I just don’t think the ideas here work as well as in other songs from the album.
We also have Trölla-Gabba, a heavy gabber interlude that nicely segues into Freefall, an amazing song with amazing strings and an amazing instrumental shift at the middle point, it’s amazing, amazing, and pretty much amazing.
The title track is yet another Gabber banger, it’s like how does this woman keeps doing it?? The outro to this is fucking awesome and one of my favorite moments of the entire record.
The album finishes off with the absolutely beautiful Her Mother’s House, a song about the struggles and beauties of motherhood as well as a love letter to her daughter who actually has a very fitting feature on this song.
Considering the songs about her mother, about her daughter, motherhood, and the running theme of nature and roots, Björk makes very clear that with this album she wanted to reach her own, her family and her blood, and she nails at that perfectly as this album is once again a sonic proof of just how much of a caring artist Björk is, she won’t put out albums just because, this is a very well though and well made project, that only an artist of Björk’s level and caliber could make.
|1||Atopos / 100|
|2||Ovule / 86|
|3||Mycelia / 72|
|4||Sorrowful Soil / 88|
|5||Ancestress / 100|
|7||Victimhood / 100|
|8||Allow / 80|
|9||Fungal City / 88|
|10||Trölla-Gabba / 85|
|11||Freefall / 96|
|12||Fossora / 100|
|13||Her Mother's House / 95|