Albums to watch

Vulnicura

Björk

Vulnicura

An earlier than intended release for the eighth studio album from the Icelandic singer and musician produced with Arca and the Haxan Cloak

ADM rating[?]

8.2

Label
One Little Indian
UK Release date
20/01/2015
US Release date
20/01/2015
  1. 10.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    It is the sort of album that confounds headphones and demands to be played aloud on speakers, to echo through space and find its way through many different sets of ears
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  2. 10.0 |   The 405

    A deeply personal record, its honesty, its savage beauty, its pure anguish offers a sense of cathartic relief for anyone who hears it
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  3. 9.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Vulnicura is stark and powerful in a way that Björk has merely danced around for years
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  4. 9.5 |   Crack

    The best in two decades from one of a handful of the greatest artists of their era. Vulnicura is a truly significant achievement
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  5. 9.1 |   Consequence Of Sound

    On Vulnicura, Björk invites you to glide as a ghost through her sadness. You can haunt her for an hour, floating disembodied through ruins too raw to describe with pretty words
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  6. 9.1 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    A harsh and demanding album, one to sink into with a good set of headphones. But it’s also Björk’s most — if not first — personal record
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  7. 9.0 |   music OMH

    Whilst the break-up album is hardly the most original or novel of concepts, Björk’s great skill here is to take material that could become self-indulgent or introspective and render it warm and universal
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  8. 9.0 |   Exclaim

    A well-crafted antithesis musically and thematically, resulting in the most compelling effort she has put forth in years
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  9. 9.0 |   All Music

    Vulnicura honors her pain and the necessary path through and away from loss with some of her bravest, most challenging, and most engaging music
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  10. 9.0 |   Uncut

    Icelandic star’s unflinching heartbreak diary. Print edition only

  11. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Each successive listen, whether focusing on the nakedly personal lyrics or the beautiful if complex music reveals another facet
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  12. 8.6 |   Paste Magazine

    The stark, dueling musical styles invoke a rare intricacy and intimacy that seem to represent her mixed emotions of fear, anger, depression and sadness
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  13. 8.6 |   Pitchfork

    The album places itself among the most human, emotionally candid, even functional of art forms: the breakup album
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  14. 8.5 |   Under The Radar

    Here we get a glimpse of Björk at her most vulnerable, and what is most surprising is just how lovely she is when she indulges her basic humanity
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  15. 8.5 |   Beardfood

    She staggers around each song like a drunken butterfly, perfectly in time
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  16. 8.4 |   Earbuddy

    Vulnicura, more so than her previous records appeals to Iceland’s lumbering volcanic activity, matching its ebbs and flows with grace and subtlety
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  17. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    The musical moments that capture Björk’s heartbreak are frequently stunning on Vulnicura, but the whole thing is a little shy on hooks and reasons to take the grueling journey with her often
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  18. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    You could say there’s something gimlet-eyed about a woman who realises her relationship is collapsing and automatically thinks: still, great material. But it’s nothing if not honest. And besides, on the evidence of Vulnicura, she has a point
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  19. 8.0 |   DIY

    This is as uncompromising and potentially definitive as a break-up album could ever be
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  20. 8.0 |   Q

    A strange, intoxicating and utterly brave record, Vulnicura turns pain into beauty. Print edition only

  21. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Might tell an old story, but it still feels new. Print edition only

  22. 8.0 |   Gig Soup

    From the production to the collaboration, this is heartbreak and recovery at its finest
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  23. 8.0 |   The Digital Fix

    If you have not listened to her since her Debut heyday then this is the most coherent and balanced blend of ideas, lyrics, and scope that the Icelander has produced of late
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  24. 8.0 |   Time Out

    For all the frigid glitch and razorblade rhythms (supplied by producers Arca and The Haxan Cloak), Björk blows ample warmth into the tunes
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  25. 8.0 |   NOW

    Bits of arrangements and melodies are reminiscent of her other albums, but Björk's vulnerability recalls her gut-wrenching performance in Dancer In The Dark more than past music
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  26. 8.0 |   The Observer

    Heavy, but engrossing
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  27. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    Take 1: The simplistic, yet savagely blunt lyrics seem ripped from the pages of her most intimate journals (8/10) Take 2: Vulnicura is emotionally bare and, as a result, remarkably complex (8/10)
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  28. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Arranged for voice with orchestral strings and electronic beats, Vulnicura is a unified set of nine dark, swarming, melodically distended songs
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  29. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    If Vulnicura never truly allows us in close, it’s still a beautifully tragic view from the edge of the ‘black hole’
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  30. 8.0 |   Spin

    Her ninth album, is not just her most focused work in more than a decade, but her first in a while aimed more at the heart than the head
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  31. 8.0 |   The List

    It’s a fundamentally slippery and elusive work – distant, unknowable, wounded, alien. Yet, from another perspective, it’s most definitely pop music
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  32. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    The really great thing about this heavy, intense album, as punishing as it is beautiful in its resolve, is that it shakes to the core the philosophies that Björk laid out so methodically on Biophilia, but she still finds a dark difficult way back to hope and love
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  33. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Her sadness has birthed another extraordinary work of art
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  34. 8.0 |   Clash

    Like all Björk albums before it, ‘Vulnicura’ is the work of many but the vessel, really, for the voice – and everything that means – of just one persistently empowering talent
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  35. 8.0 |   NME

    It’s not an easy listen, but a brave, beautiful and affecting album – an attempt to find order in chaos that, as she wishes for it, offers a “crutch” to the heartbroken
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  36. 7.6 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    The album attempts to make the most out of its woes- every mourning process, every sign of anguish exists in order to ask questions, so that Bjork can locate an answer
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  37. 7.0 |   The Music

    Vulnicura is a heartfelt record; that much is sure. The heart’s there, and Björk’s usual intensity, but the lack of structure strips a lot of the immediacy away from the record
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  38. 6.0 |   The Independent

    Represents a return of sorts to standard song form after the experimental Biophilia
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  39. 6.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Vulnicura is not Björk at her most radical, but will surely become a cherished aide to many in moments of emotional collapse
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  40. 6.0 |   Slant Magazine

    One listen to Vulnicura confirms what's been evident for a long time, but will still continue to come as a disappointment for many: Björk firmly belongs to the world of the avant-garde
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