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Drawing Restraint 9

Bj÷rk Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 20.19 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


1. Gratitude
2. Pearl
3. Ambergris March
4. Bath
5. Hunter Vessel
6. Shimenawa
7. Vessel Shimenawa
8. Storm
9. Holographic Entrypoint
10. Cetacea
11. Antarctic Return

Product Description

Amazon.ca

When Björk became romantically involved with art-world darling Matthew Barney, the universe seemed to be uniting two of the most idiosyncratic artistic temperaments of the 21st century. The first major artistic product of this union, Drawing Restraint 9, music composed by Björk for Barney's film of the same name, finds their sensibilities eerily complementary. Barney's previous films, the megaton, five-part Cremaster Cycle, astounded audiences with a personal mythology inspired by the biological process of prenatal sexual differentiation, touching themes as unsettlingly diverse as speed metal, auto racing, Freemasonry, and Harry Houdini. Barney, a former model and football player, has always been interested in expressions of physical strain and release. This coincides quite nicely with the work Björk has produced lately, namely her album Medúlla, which was composed entirely of human voices--singing, coughing, grunting, and beatboxing. The intersection of these two artistic geniuses comes at precisely the right time, when Björk has cast off the last vestiges of her dance-floor self. To understand how remarkable a transformation this is, one might try to imagine what it would have been like if Donna Summers had turned into Yoko Ono.

There are instances of Björk's vocal soundscapes on this album, in the unsettling "Pearl" and the rainy and overdubbed opening of "Storm." Other tracks, filled to overflowing with bells and chimes, recall her most beautiful work on Vespertine. It used to be that Björk could chill the spine with a howl. Now she does it with a whisper, and these soft and haunting moments are what reward repeat listenings. With the music she produced for the soundtrack to Dancer in the Dark, Björk followed a more or less traditional narrative thread, stringing the songs together in such a way that one could follow a story even without having seen the movie. It's not quite that simple with Drawing Restraint 9. Without seeing the film, the music suggests a fascination with oceans, Japanese ritual, and the hidden powers of nature. It's spellbinding and confusing music, hinting at greater art to come from two artists of intense creativity and passion. --Ryan Boudinot

More Björk and Matthew Barney at Amazon.ca

Medúlla

Vespertine

Selmasongs: Dancer in the Dark

The Cremaster Cycle: The Order (DVD)

Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle (hardback book)

Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle (paperback book)

Product Description

Soundtrack to a Film by Matthew Barney Composed by Björk.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars still pushing boundaries ... fantastic! July 27 2007
Format:Audio CD
Needed -- repeat listens and *gasp* engagement on behalf of the audience. Bjork continues to be an artist who places demands on the listener, makes them sit up and ask them: "What is pop music, and what isn't it?"
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5.0 out of 5 stars still puishing boundaries . . . fantastic! July 27 2007
Format:Audio CD
Needed -- repeat listens and *gasp* engagement on behalf of the audience. Bjork continues to be an artist who places demands on the listener, makes them sit up and ask them: "What is pop music, and what isn't it?"
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars still pushing boundaries . . . fantastic! July 27 2007
Format:Audio CD
Needed -- repeat listens and *gasp* engagement on behalf of the audience. Bjork continues to be an artist who places demands on the listener, makes them sit up and ask them: "What is pop music, and what isn't it?"
Was this review helpful to you?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbingly Beautiful July 25 2008
By Jamieson Villeneuve TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Bjork has been my favorite artist for a long time. Perhaps this is because she is always constantly changing and doing different things. She is constantly evolving her musical style and her range broadens with each album. Bjork is one of the only artists unafraid of trying new things, of developing herself musically. She continues to move away from more commercial music in order to find herself musically.

With "Debut," she brought pop music to new heights with hits like "Big Time Sensuality" and "Venus as a Boy." Again, she changed tracks and added new levels to pop and electronica with the aptly named album "Post." In "Homogenic," she was drawn towards orchestra music and the darker sound of love. In "Vespertine", she moved towards the softer, more introspective side of music.

She claims to make music for everyone. She has made pop music, rock music, alternative and punk music and has even sung in Icelandic Jazz. Some call her a visionary; I call her a musical genius. Though she claims to make music for everyone, she's isn't for everyone. You either love her or hate her. Most can't stand her; some have even compared her vocals to a cat being hit in the head with a frying pan. But her fans, myself included, lover her nonetheless.

With "Medulla", her latest studio album, she took music a step further: she used no instruments. Every sound on that album, every note, was created with voice and vocals. With each successive album, Bjork constantly changes her musical style. Bjork said about "Medulla": "I was going to call the album "Ink," because I wanted it to be like that black, 5,000 year-old blood that's inside us all; an ancient spirit that's passionate and dark, a spirit that survives.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ok Ok...let's settle this once and for all! Oct. 11 2005
By Liquid Celluloid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Anyone considering buying this album needs to know 2 things about it: 1) None of the tracks on it are iPod worthy. You won't be jamming to any of the tunes on this effort by any means. 2) All of the somgs on this album are meant to convey an emotion...and deep reactionary emotion. Drawing Restraint 9 accomplishes this very well. If you're looking for catchy tunes and pop lullabies, then buy homogenic or vespertine. If your looking to explore human emotion and the way music evokes the human condition...then give medulla a good listen. If that album seems too tame for you, then Drawing Restraint 9 will be an essential in your music collection.

To be perfectly honest, this album is extremely creepy. It reminds me of Fantamos, only I can't understand it because most of it is in Japenese. Although the language might seem like it presents a problem, the emotions evoked from tracks like Storm are universal. I give this album 4 stars because it accomplishes it's task very well, the album, however, is inaccessable my most listeners and will end up collecting dust on most people's shelves (like mine for example). And I love Bjork...I own all of her work and she is a personal friend of mine. Even so, I doubt I will ever say to myself, "Listening to Drawing Restraint ( would fit the mood perfectly right now!"
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegantly Restrained Madness Oct. 14 2005
By Akimon Azuki - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I really love this album, though I can see why it may not have mass appeal.
Musically, it is a highly imaginative work, cramming seemingly chaotic but beautifully constructed compositions into an organic whole, dressed up with complex rhythms, strange sounds and sound effects- on Bath, Bjork manages to make her voice sound like a tea kettle! Add Japanese theatre antics, occasional bizarre lyrics and you get a very vivid aural experience. It is a soundtrack, but for me it works just fine without the actual visual part- it would be interesting to see it, but I don't feel that anything is missing.
I can't really point out a favourite track, every song has its extreme wicked charms, but if I had to choose, the bells, glass and spoons adorned Ambergris March and the rain drenched, wailing, reverb filled Storm are the strongest, most original statements; Hunter Vessel, with its majestic brass sound, is the one I keep returning to a lot.
Certainly, casual fans and admirers of Bjork's pop side might be freaked out, and many people may just not get it. This is not to say that this work needs any particularly deep thinking on anyone's part in order to be appreciated- if anything, soft spot for all things primal might be useful here- but it certainly helps if you are in a mood for strange, unhinged music. For serious Bjork fans, this is a great dish, for anybody else, it's really worth taking a plunge in these whale fishing waters. It's not a safe, orderly and conventionally pleasant musical experience, but at the very least, it may inspire an intense (and verbose?) reaction, good or bad, but certainly strong.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Oct. 8 2005
By Felt Mountain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Okay, firstly, there are many 1 and 5 star reviews on this album and not much in-between. The one-star reviewers probably haven't let the album grow on them and reach it's peak yet, but I am not sure how an intelligent persson can rate this album 1 star.......

The standouts on this album are Bath, Hunter Vessel, Storm and Cetacea, but, really, none of the tracks are BAD. I will now review the albums highlights:

The album opens with Gratitude and features the vocals of Will Oldham. The vocals seemed horrible to me at first, but now I think they are just good - but Bjorks are far better. The vocalists narrates a letter that he wrote, and the childrens choir on the third verse really climaxes the song. Track 2, Pearl, is a lot like Ancestors (Medulla). Ambergis March features the sho, bells, harpsichord and other percussion (eg drums). It is instrumental and sounds very Japanese, although I don't think it uses the pentatonic scale..... Bath is a very inacessible track and although one of my favourites, I can't really explain it. It features bells and sort of reminds me of a weirder version of Tori Amos' Bells For Her. Hunter Vessel reminded my of a sailboat for some reason - I love that funny brass section! (It returns in Vessel Shimenawa) Storm is the common favourite, and also one of my top-3. It is one of the three tracks on the album where you here Bjork, although you hear them the most here. Holographic Entrypoint is 10 minutes of Japanese singing by some guy with a percussion instrument - sticks or something. Cetacea is one of the more accessible songs from the album, but it is not accessible, from anyones point of view. And the album closes beautifully with Antarctic Return.

90%
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return to her roots Aug. 13 2005
By zaera-11 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This statement may sound strange considering this is a soundtrack for a film involving a sizable dose of Japanese history. But a closer look at this often stunning record reveals traces of several of Bjork's early sonic explorations and passions. She has stated on many occasions that she produced music for Icelandic film projects as a young adult. These soundtracks, according to her, were often comprised of percussive and vocal experimentations. This could easily describe a broad facet of the music of "Drawing Restraint 9".

Her voice is only audible in three of the disc's eleven tracks; this soundtrack is Bjork at her pure "researcher" best. She does an admirable job of weaving traditional Japanese and European instruments with subtle (and occasionally hardcore) electronic programming. With the exception of one track, "Holographic entrypoint", the music is not overtly "Japanese" sounding, but Bjork's research of traditional Japanese compositions is quietly integrated into the work as a whole.

This soundtrack includes delicate pieces for single instruments such as the sho, harp, celeste, and harpsichord ("Pearl", "Ambergris march", "Shimenawa", "Cetacea", "Antarctic return"), all of which have been arranged and performed beautifully. There are also two tracks ("Hunter vessel", "Vessel shimenawa") with stark orchestral arrangements for brass (trumpet, trombone) and oboe, which would have made Stanley Kubrick proud to put in one of his films.

Of these more instrumental pieces, "Pearl", which also features "Medulla"-collaborator, Tagaq, stands out as the most effortlessly gorgeous and intricate composition. It is incredible to see how many facets of Tagaq's throat-singing Bjork has been able to capture in her recent recordings. Though "Medulla"'s Tagaq showpiece, "Ancestors", has some truly heartwrenching passages (particularly the final minute of the track), the arrangement was not nearly as tight, consistent, and well-executed as it is here on "Pearl".

The most challenging piece for most listeners will undoubtedly be "Holographic entrypoint", described on Bjork's website as having been "sung in the intonation patterns and low, growling vocal techniques of traditional Japanese court entertainment." It is not a piece that I will listen to frequently, but it is interesting. More importantly, I think this track -- more than any of the others -- fits best within the context of the film rather than as a casual cd track.

The work throughout is superb. There are two tracks that particularly stand out, both of which feature Bjork's unparalleled voice: "Bath" and "Storm". Bjork's vocal has rarely sounded this good. These two tracks (each very different from the other) are a reminder that her voice -- especially when paired with minimal production that allows her voice it's proper prominence -- is a truly amazing instrument with highly flexible and expressive timbres.

"Bath" takes Bjork's vocal layering work on "Medulla" to another level altogether. Her voice on this track is like an opiate that surrounds and seduces the listener with every breath. Strangely enough, there seem to be traces of Middle Eastern scale progressions throughout the track. This piece is breathtaking; possibly Bjork's most exquisite all-vocal arrangement to date.

"Storm", on the other hand, hits you like a truck. The programming by Leila and arranging by Bjork are absolutely intense and physical. We don't see this Bjork often enough. This is the Bjork we have seen glimpses of with tracks like "Where is the Line", "Pluto", and "Army of Me", but her vocal is used to much greater effect here on "Storm". From the second her first line is sung, one instantly notices that this a Bjork we haven't heard much of. Her voice is raw, volatile, agitated, and sent chills down my spine. Perhaps the period of Bjork's career in which her vocals most closely resemble these is her work in the 1980s with Kukl. The last time I recall Bjork collaborating with Leila is on the live version of "Enjoy", which she did on her Post tour. This also brought us a more menacing Bjork, though not to the extent of which we see here on Storm. One can only hope that these two very gifted artists work on more projects together in the near future.

Other highlights include the intricate, textured percussion on "Ambergris march", the sho arrangements written by Bjork and performed by Mayumi Miyata, and the layered instrumentation of celeste, harp, digital programming, and keyboard, on "Gratitude" (though Will Oldham's vocal doesn't work quite as well).

Some Bjork fans are growing weary of her recent experimentations; some want the "Homogenic" or even "Post" Bjork back. I suppose one could say that there are many fans of 90s Bjork. As many people know, however, Bjork's recording career began in 1977. There probably isn't a single person who thinks every single Bjork project or song is great, but there are those who have enjoyed how far she has reached and how much she has developed and explored as an artist. When looking at Bjork's nearly 30-year musical career as a whole, one will find that this soundtrack is an admirable, stunning, and beautifully executed project that shows the artist reaching new heights as a composer, vocalist, and producer. As long as she's alive, I'm sure that Bjork will continue to produce compelling, beautiful, challenging music that will undoubtedly veer more toward a pop sensibility from time to time when it feels right to her.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Comparision April 30 2006
By Jamieson Villeneuve - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Bjork has been my favorite artist for a long time. Perhaps this is because she is always constantly changing and doing different things. She is constantly evolving her musical style and her range broadens with each album. Bjork is one of the only artists unafraid of trying new things, of developing herself musically. She continues to move away from more commercial music in order to find herself musically.

With "Debut," she brought pop music to new heights with hits like "Big Time Sensuality" and "Venus as a Boy." Again, she changed tracks and added new levels to pop and electronica with the aptly named album "Post." In "Homogenic," she was drawn towards orchestra music and the darker sound of love. In "Vespertine", she moved towards the softer, more introspective side of music.

She claims to make music for everyone. She has made pop music, rock music, alternative and punk music and has even sung in Icelandic Jazz. Some call her a visionary; I call her a musical genius. Though she claims to make music for everyone, she's isn't for everyone. You either love her or hate her. Most can't stand her; some have even compared her vocals to a cat being hit in the head with a frying pan. But her fans, myself included, lover her nonetheless.

With "Medulla", her latest studio album, she took music a step further: she used no instruments. Every sound on that album, every note, was created with voice and vocals. With each successive album, Bjork constantly changes her musical style. Bjork said about "Medulla": "I was going to call the album "Ink," because I wanted it to be like that black, 5,000 year-old blood that's inside us all; an ancient spirit that's passionate and dark, a spirit that survives."

I find that is even more apt here; it describes the feeling of "Drawing Restraint 9" to a tee. Indeed, some of the music even sounds musically similar to "Medulla," until you start to listen more closely to the more subtle differences. A few months ago I read that Bjork was going to do a soundtrack another film, I was ecstatic. The soundtrack was supposed to have a Japanese flavour to it; it would be different from anything Bjork had done before.

I was amazed and enchanted with her soundtrack (and her starring role which one her the Cannes Best Actress award) in "Dancer in the Dark"; so I wondered how different this soundtrack was going to sound. It's not a "Bjork Album", but a soundtrack to an art film. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly amazed! Words can't express how much I love this album. I think it may be the best thing Bjork has ever done (aside from "Medulla" of course).

Trust be told, at first I wasn't too sure what I was hearing. The album starts with the eerie "Gratitude" and continues with the eerily beautiful "Pearl." The entire album is more than music, it is really art in itself; but the two stand out tracks for me were "Storm" and "Holographic Entrypoint."

The album has a running theme of water flowing through out it and "Storm" fits this theme to a tee. It starts with Bjork's voice, dubbed to sound like lightning thundering in the clouds. Sounds follow that bring to mind rain, the sound of water hitting the ground.

"Holographic Entrypoint" is an odd song. At first, I looked at my stereo and thought: "What the hell is that?" I realized of course that it was a man chanting and singing in Japanese; this would make sense of course, since the film is set in Japan and the soundtrack has a Japanese flavour. I was put off by this track at first; I had never heard anyone sing in Japanese. But "Holographic Entrypoint" really brings Japan to life. In the mans powerful voice I can see Japan around me, as if I were there.

Keep in mind that this is the soundtrack to an art film, so it goes beyond any boundaries of anything Bjork has done before. If you are looking for poppy rocky music, you are going to be disappointed. If you don't like it on your first listen (I love Bjork and I wasn't quite sure after I listened to the album the first time round) take a second tour through. This is an album that you have to listen to more than once to get the full effect.

I loved all the songs on this album: "Ambergris March", "Bath" and "Hunter Vessel" were favorites. I could comment on every song on the album, but this review would be ten pages long. In short, it really kicks and I don't have enough words to express how amazing "The Music from Drawing Restraint 9" is, I don't have enough words to express it's beauty. All I can say is this:

Take a listen; you won't be sorry.

Jamieson Wolf

Originally published at:

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