In Brief: Björk’s longest album to date is one of her happiest and most peaceful. It’s also one of her most baffling and exhausting. Longtime fans will find echoes of some of her classic works here, and will also probably appreciate the more ambient/avant-garde new direction as well. But song-for-song, this may be her most difficult album to appreciate as a whole since Medúlla.
This is part three of a series chronicling each year of my life as viewed through the lens of a song that was meaningful to me in some way that represents a significant aspect of my life experience in that year. This segment covers the third decade of my life. Be sure to catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 first.
The first order of business as 2015 comes to a close is to sift through all of my favorite songs that I first heard this year (or perhaps late last year, and it just took me a little longer to appreciate them) and attempt to put them in order, which as usual starts to get a bit silly below the top 30 or so. Music videos and some live performances are embedded for that first chunk of the list. As I’ve done in previous years, I’ve also got a Spotify playlist that covers a lot of these, limited to a song per artist and more in chronological order of when I discovered them.
Artist: Björk Album: Vulnicura Year: 2015 Grade: B
In Brief: While its lyrics chronicle the dissolution of a long-term relationship and the beginning of the healing process afterward, the music heard on Vulnicura goes back even farther than that, serving up twisted reflections of nearly every record Björk has made up to this point. It’s slow-moving, cinematic, and at times downright unsettling, but the highly relatable subject matter pulls it all together more convincingly than anything Björk has put out since 2001’s Vespertine – an album which could be considered Vulnicura‘s reflection in the mirror.