I am genuinely speechless. This is the most GORGEOUS album I have ever listened to.
Going into this, I was obviously expecting it to be good, considering how her last three albums have all been amazing, but Jesus CHRIST I was not expecting THIS. Seriously, where can I even begin with this? I guess I'll just start writing and see where it goes.
Starting with the production, holy FUCK this thing sounds incredible! It feels very icy but also warm at the same time, somehow. No idea how the fuck that was achieved, but it is fucking fantastic. The record has multiple ambient moments that are seriously mind numbing and therapeutic.
Björks' voice is just... Well, it's Björks' voice! Do I really even need to say more? I would say once again that she sounds like a goddess on the record, but contrary to her previous releases there are multiple instances of intentional fragility in her voice, reminding us that she is in fact just a human, like us. This also works very well with the theme of the record.
Similarly to "Homogenic", there is a lot of Scandinavian orchestral instrumentation on this record. However, instead of it being used to evoke a grand, theatrical feeling, it is instead used to further complement the albums' elegance and beauty.
And now I reach possibly the greatest part of this record (even though you could argue every single part of this record is its' greatest), the writing. It is abstract, haunting, beautiful, heartbreaking, lustful, poetic, otherworldly. On the album, Björk faces the concept of love and human relationships head on. Paired with the instrumentation, the feelings she expresses here are projected so masterfully, the emotions are truly seeping through every last bit music on the record.
That being said, most of the lyrics are so out there and strange that anyone could come up with their own interpretation of the subject matter.
There is not a single moment where this record drags, not a single unnecessary song. It is the perfect cohesive experience, and by simply closing my eyes and listening to the project from front to back I literally fucking transcended to another plane of beauty. Even my least favorite song (Frosti) is a completely essential interlude, and without it the concept I am getting from the album would entirely fall apart. Every song here does its' job perfectly and earns its' spot in the track list.
You could see this albums' story from so many angles, that I haven't even truly settled on one singular idea to pin the whole thing down. But one thing I am sure of is that on this project you can see Björk fighting with herself (spiritually). She talks to herself, doubts herself, considers her options concerning whatever problem she is dealing with throughout the record. This is represented through the dreaminess of the music and the multiple instances of overlapping vocals and the very open-ended lyrics.
This was truly an experience. It's just one of those records that literally takes you to another world, yet it has so much substance and things to pick apart. I've already listened to this 3 times and I can't get enough of it. No matter how hard I try, I genuinely can't find any notable issues with this. Fucking HELL, Björk has just gotten better with every single release, this album specifically being her masterpiece.
Ethereal, gorgeous, and emotional, this record is glistening all over. I am in love.
(I have no idea how I'm going to manage to pick only 3 favorite tracks but I will try)
Favorite tracks: Cocoon, Pagan Poetry, Heirloom
Least favorite track: Frosti