It’s scary when a favorite artist comes out with a new album, because you want that perfect balance of the familiar and the new.
And it’s in that regard that I think Vulnicura knocks it out of the park – after the third track. It’s not that I don’t like “Stonemilker”, “Lionsong”, and “History of Touches”, but I do feel like they’re a retread of Björk’s previous (though excellent) material. I know she can do better.
And damn, does she ever: once we get to “Black Lake”, this album hits its sweet spot and doesn’t stop. That particular track has the epic scope of “The Dull Flame of Desire” but the soundscape of a muted “Vespertine” (with some new sizzle and flare thrown in.) I love the pacing and I dig the senza vib. in a big way.
“Atom Dance” is my favorite track on the album, but let’s all take a moment to acknowledge the utter badassery of that cello break on “Family”:
It’s hard for me to imagine anyone coming up with a better 30 seconds of music than that in 2015.