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3.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 31 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra Entertain.
  • ASIN: B0002JUXB0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,272 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Pleasure Is All Mine
2. Show Me Forgiveness
3. Where Is The Line
4. Vokuro
5. Oll Birtan
6. Who Is It
7. Submarine
8. Desired Constellation
9. Oceania
10. Sonnets / Unrealities XI
11. Ancestors
12. Mouths Cradle
13. Mivikudags
14. Triumph Of A Heart

Product Description

Product Description

Bjork is one of the most recognized stars in the world. She has sold millions of copies of her groundbreaking albums, she is an icon of cutting edge style, & she has received worldwide acclaim as an actress. Medulla, Bjork's first new studio album in three years, finds her delving deeper than ever before into her haunting & exhilarating sound & vision. Innovative as always, Bjork has this time built the songs on Medulla entirely from vocal tracks, with no insturments appearnig on the album, creating a soundscape unlike anything you've ever heard before. Special guests include Rahzel from The Roots, Mike Patton of Faith No More & Mr. Bungle, an Inuit throat singer, an Icelandic choir, the world's greatest human beatboxes & more.


Normally, an artist such as Bjork with a mass audience across the globe steadily eases off as the back-catalog starts to grow. However, Medulla, the fifth proper studio album from Bjork is without a doubt the most challenging collection of music she has ever released.

For the most part, the album is made up of layers upon layers of processed vocal parts arranged in either harmony or dissonance such as "Vokuro" and "Oll Birtan," respectively. Some, such as "Show Me Forgiveness" are simple acapella, the aforementioned sounding like a vocal cut from Debut minus the music. Another echo of Bjork days gone by is "Desired Constellation," a slow trancy pulse underpinning her distinct vocals. "Where Is the Line," "Who Is It," and "Triumph of a Heart" are a bit grimier with a semi-urban twist, the latter a fantastically funky beatbox number with an outstanding introduction, the closest moment to a pop song appearing on Medulla.

Although traditional instruments and breaks have been removed from this album, Medulla is no great departure for Bjork but in a sense it is radically different from any of her previous work. Some will love it, some hate it, and some just won't be sure what to think. --David Trueman

Amazon.ca Special Content

An Interview with Björk
Björk shared her thoughts about the directions she is taking with Medulla in our Amazon.com interview.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Sept. 13 2004
Format: Audio CD
Granted this is not a C.D. that you can turn on at your next cocktail party or throw in your walkman during your morning run. If you want that, listen to something else. As for all the long time Bjork fans who want another Homogenic you are not going to get it. Shes been there and done that. Any worth while musician, artist or even actress for that matter must progress and inspiration is not a static phenomena.
Medulla is an amazing album, one to be listened to with giant headphones at 2 in the morning with some sort of snack food in hand. This album is tribal yet cosmopolitan, somber yet ecstatic, avant-garde yet organic, beautiful and rough. The Inuit influence is glaring and perhaps those unfamiliar with the art form will be very perplexed but why not expose yourself to a new experience, you can only be the better for it.
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Format: Audio CD
The first time I heard Medulla, I had some severe doubts about it. It's very...weird, if that word can best describe this work of art. I've noticed that people either love it or hate it - there's really no in between when it comes to Medulla. It's incredibly challenging, not a whimsical purchase by any means. I've listened to this CD so many times since I got it, and each time I fall in love with it more.
Some people have trouble with Medulla simply because there are no instruments used. Not usual, no - but what do you expect from Bjork?
Pleasure is All Mine - The erratic breathing at the beginning takes some gets getting used to, but I love this song. 5/5
Show Me Forgiveness - Short acapella, but pretty. Nice arpeggios in here. 5/5
Where is the Line - Sort of grungey, with a funky beat. This was the first song on the CD that really grabbed by attention and kept it. 5/5
Vokuro - Pretty slow song. 4.5/5
Oll Birtan - I didn't like this song at first, along with the other two vocal-mentals...haha...but after two listens I decided I really liked this. 4.5/5
Who Is It - Another one of those grab your attention songs. 5/5
Submarine - This song really irratates me. I can't stand it. The stupid blubbering and do-do-do get my eye twitching. Only good part of this song is Bjork's solo in the middle. 1/5
Desired Constellation - Slower song. I love Bjork's voice in this one. One of the two songs that has instrumentation (synths) 5/5
Oceania - Great song, though the choir's sliding scale get irritating after a while. 4.5/5
Sonnets/Unrealities XI - About letting a loved one go. 5/5
Ancestors - I really hated this song when I first heard it. Bjork on the piano hyperventilating, and Tagaq grunting. After a few listens I actually began to like it.
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By A Customer on Oct. 7 2004
Format: Audio CD
Bjork's Medulla is a challenging journey, but it is one worth taking if you are a serious fan of her music and vision. She does not present a disc for the casual listener. In order to love the cd you must listen to it many times in order to enter into her creation. I was nervous at first, but I am convinced that this was a fantastic purchase. I have found that the songs that at first caused me some angst (Submarine and Ancestors) have now found a place of understanding and only make sense in the context of the whole collection of songs. I still don't entirely understand them, but as with many of Bjork's best pieces (Unison, Unravel, All Neon Like, and others) it is time and listening that creates the depth of understanding of what she is communicating.
Medulla is like a relationship, it takes a bit of time and a bit of work to get to the heart of the music. In my opinion, this is a brilliant collection which must be listened to as that, a collection. It fuses poetry, music and elemental themes in an exciting and rewarding way. I am not surprised that her collection is so popular in Europe, but suffers criticisms here in North America. Its just not an easy listen at first, but it is one of the most rewarding and satisfying listens that I have had since Vespertine.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 29 2007
Format: Audio CD
Ever heard of mouth music? It's a traditional technique for producing music with nothing except rhythmic vocals -- literally, just music from the mouth. Quirky Icelandic Bjork isn't a Celt, but she takes the term "mouth music" to new heights in the enchantingly challenging "Medulla," an album whose music is based on the voice.

Bjork embarks on her strangest and most experimental musical journey here. Not just one kind of song, but many -- majestic medieval-flavored music to pop to hymns to an eerie vocal ballad backed by throat singing. Bjork even beatboxes with a choir behind her, giving a sort of classical hip-hop sound to the music. Can't get that just anywhere.

"Medulla" isn't entirely devoid of instrumentation... the non-vocal variety, that is. There's a pretty piano solo to "Ancestors," and the deep bassline of "Submarine." Keyboards pop up occasionally But those are the exception -- most of the time it's Bjork's soft vocals, singing, grunting, whistles, and various gutteral sounds -- sort of a dolphin-on-acid noise. It's wonderfully weird.

After the pretty but vaguely monotonous "Vespertine," Bjork just bursts out with her new sound. What's strangest is the effect it has when one is listening to it -- it's powerful and visceral, lulling you one moment and making you shiver the next. At times it's unnerving -- the grunts range from sexy to ghastly, and are enough to make you squirm -- but it never fails to provoke a response.

"Medulla" isn't a full departure from her past material. The opening number has echoes of "Vespertine," while "Where is the Line" hints at "Homogenic." But the heart and soul of "Medulla" rests in an entirely new zone, far away from the icy grandeur of her past trip-hop.
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