Limited Edition Japanese pressing comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. Universal. 2008. * Please note these are issued on Universal EU barcodes but are in fact pressed in Japan and include an OBI and booklet.
Ever since Björk's vital, effusive 1993 debut, her music has been increasingly intimate, gently private, and concerned with seclusion. It's typical then that Vespertine
's first single is called "Hidden Place." The studious solitude is rewarding, though. Vespertine
is a lush, gorgeous swell of midpace electronica, symphonic strings, and Björk's uniquely alien, spectral vocals. There are fantastical wonders here. "Cocoon" (another eulogy to withdrawal from the world) is delicate as a breath, Björk sounding too fragile to be flesh as she lauds "a beauty this immense." "Pagan Poetry" and "Aurora," likewise, are adrift in an enchanted reverie. When she chooses, she crafts killer tunes; "It's Not up to You" is as lovely as anything on Post
. Yet, frequently, on such tracks as the yearning, glancing "Undo," Björk seems to be simply thinking aloud, reveling in this wildly rich and visceral music. She's reclaimed cutting-edge electronica, so often the province of geeks and technicians, for the poets and the passionate. Vespertine
is a landmark, a revelation, and a truly fabulous achievement. --Ian Gittins