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Björk - Vespertine CD (album) cover

VESPERTINE

Björk

 

Crossover Prog

3.89 | 93 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
5 stars This is one of those special albums where adjectives I use to describe it aren't exactly the norm concerning descriptions of music. To relay an example...Vespertine glistens. I mean this album glows, shimmers and radiates a cold white light. Another thing this level of quality brings out is the occasional bizarre adjective that doesn't even make sense. In this case, for some reason the term "icy warmth" keeps popping up as to how I would convey the emotions and atmosphere that Vespertine engulfs the listener so successfully. I know..."icy warmth'? But yeah...there it is. Listening to some of these tracks is like roaming through immense ice castles guided by a mischievous cute pixie. This is the sort of journey I can dig.

Vespertine begins with a flat out jaw-dropper with the majestic Hidden Place. A swirling array of choirs, strings, some odd percussion and chilly keyboards combine with Bjork's distinct and emotionally bare voice gently latched on to my mind and sent me to the clouds over Iceland. The chorus is absolutely magnificent, soaring to the stratosphere yet equally intimate. I've never heard a better song by her. Already it's quite clear this album is progressive.

Cocoon follows, a much gentler affair with excellent fragile vocals emitting pure sensuality with a bit of coyness. It's Not Up to You brings back the lushness, especially for that great chorus (nice hook!). In fact, throughout this album, there's a definite theme not just in its message, but concerning the musical instruments themselves. Harps, ethereal choirs, and orchestration add such an incredible layer of beauty to the cold electronics, and, combined with Bjork's emotional delivery, gave off this aura that I still consider "icy warmth". This aura never leaves for the album's duration, with no dud to be found ruining the flow.

Other highlights include the epic concluding Unison, possessing one of Bjork's most creative vocal deliveries and one fantastic crescendo towards the song (and album's) finale, and the gorgeous yet haunting and borderline dark An Echo, A Stain. Even the short instrumental Frosti is essential.

This album is seamless and has a singular vision that is magical, spacey, chilly, atmospheric and without a doubt extremely progressive. Essential.

Prog Sothoth | 5/5 |

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