I wasn’t even halfway done listening to Vulnicura before I decided it was the best Björk album in several years. Now that I’ve listened to it a few more times, I have to reconsider: it might be the best Björk album there has ever been.
Björk’s music has always been interesting and, at the very least, ambitious. As she’s developed as an artist, Björk has gained a reputation for creating albums that are highly dense and experimental, and even as I listen to Vulnicura I feel like I’m experiencing a modern Classical piece – a sort of marriage between, say, Tori Amos and Phillip Glass. But over the last few years, Björk has also earned a reputation for creating music that is more abstract than personal; too dense, and leaving many unable to connect.
It doesn’t get more personal for Björk than Vulnicura. Crafted from the embers of her failing relationship with her longterm partner, Vulnicura is something like Björk’s Blood on the Tracks: Sentimental and nostalgic, visceral and misanthropic, and expressing all manners of reflection knowable to those who’ve loved and lost. It doesn’t get further from Biophilia than this.