With her tenth album, the Icelandic artist continues to explore a world that is as unique and inimitable as it is particularly dense, alien to any pop conventionalism.
Björg has long cared for songs. And you don’t know to what extent she is because she doesn’t interest you or because she doesn’t leave you anymore.
It seems that it is rather for the first reason, because surely it would have been enough for him to plagiarize himself and repeat, in a somewhat camouflaged way, the melodic lines of his first four albums, so well remembered, if he was really worried that his recent production nested in our heads at first. It would be a relatively easy praxis.
On this album, it has been said that there is reggaeton . But there are only stockings. What’s up, grabber. But there is only half of it. What could be danced? But it can only be done halfway (or not even that), because later he said that the thing would not run at more than 80 or 90 BPMs . That there are intertwined voices and beats aggressive .
And there are, but also half. That helpful fusion of tradition and avant-garde prevails that distinguishes the works that are usually relevant. But he also attends halfway.
Almost nothing is exactly what it seems at first glance in Björk’s creative universe , surely because music is for her a kind of personal therapy and a tool to heal wounds and understand the world around her, and that she does not contemplate at any time concern for pleasing others. One would say that he doesn’t care about her exactly. That she doesn’t care.
In this, Fossora (One Little Independent Records/Pop stock!, 2022) is not very different from its five predecessors. But he also has something from his first four albums, and perhaps for that reason he has elicited praise from even those who There are two different parts in his solo career: the one that was from 1993 to 2004, and the one that starts then and continues until now.
And after all, here is something of the vocal primacy of the austere Medúlla (2004) (on “Sorrowful Soil”, dedicated to his mother, the environmental activist Hildur Rúna Hauksdóttir, who died in 2018), something of the nod to the music hall of that distant “It’s Oh So Quiet” (1995) (in “Fungal City”, with Serpentwithfeet ), something of the disruptive fanfare of “Pluto” (1998) (in “Trölla-Gabba”) and something of the combination of tectonic digitalism and string instruments from Homogenic (1998) and even Vulnicura (2015) in cuts like “Atopos” or “Fossora”.
Does that mean that this is a synthesis of some of the best properties of his career? Neither. There is no way to draw any fairly accurate conclusion with her, beyond confirming that she is going to fuck him. That apparent eccentricity that makes her the meat of memes and imitations.
A family affair
The death of his mother, the confinement due to the pandemic and life (again) in his native Iceland mark this album, which explores earthly and floral metaphors, roots and fungi, to explain himself and to explain your reason for being. It’s a family affair, then.
Above all, since the voices of her son Sindri (36 years old) and her daughter Ísadóra (20 years old) are present: the final “Her Mother’s House” is the most exciting of these 54 minutes. But it is not a pandemic album either, as we have known other similar releases from other musicians, no matter how much she confesses that, apart from overcoming the duel and rediscovering her roots, she advocates the connection that we missed in the initial “Atopos”.
In his world, nothing is quite what it seems. Only she knows where to expect to get (if that is the case) in her unfathomable exploration. An eagerness to search that you may like more or less, but it has no parallels today on the front page of pop. If we can still call Björk pop.
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