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Bjork | Vespertin | review | atmospheric | rock | Lollipop


Vespertin (Elektra)
by Tim Den

These are the sounds of an ice goddess trapping herself in a cocoon made of atmospheric fibers and trying to get out by singing through the cracks. Restraint, restraint, restraint... yet oh so beautiful. By far the most interesting of the "female solo artist" bunch, Björk has retreated into her own dreamstate on Vespertine, whittling her former bombastic nature down to only whispers and poetry ("Sun in My Mouth"'s lyrics are entirely from an E.E. Cummings poem). Hooks and dance beats are traded in for free-form crooning and digital static; her devilish grin for wide-eyed optimism. Vespertine is possibly the hardest Björk album to blast on a road trip, but by far the most introspective, delicate, and involved. On tracks like "Aurora," "Unison," and "Pagan Poetry," her cries and pleas have never sounded so desperate... as if she's uncertain whether or not people can hear her from her cocoon. On others such as "Undo" and "An Echo, a Stain," you can hardly tell there's a woman in there... she sounds more like an elf speaking in tongues. And then, of course, there's "Cocoon": A lullaby that details dripping, tantric love-making with drowsy imagery ("He slides inside/half awake, half asleep... when I wake up the second time in his arms/gorgeousness, he's still inside me!"). HOT.

Wrap yourself in her voice. Close your eyes and imagine that you just got in from a snow storm: The warmth of the indoors is melting the snow flakes on your coat, and the heat is slowly defrosting your face. Vespertine is that moment between complete freezing and complete warmth.

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