Medúlla

~ Release group by Björk

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
Medúlla CD 15 Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation) UICP-1056 4988005368225
Medúlla 2×12" Vinyl 8 + 6 One Little Indian Records TPLP358 5016958060916
Medúlla CD 14 One Little Indian Records TPLP358CD 5016958060923
Medúlla (special edition) DVD-Audio 35 One Little Indian Records TPLP358DVD 5016958061203
Medúlla CD 14 Universal Music Russia 206 038-4 4605026003842
Medúlla CD 14 Elektra Entertainment (renamed from Elektra 1989–2004; revived as Elektra 2009-06-01) 62984-2 075596298421
Medúlla Hybrid SACD 15 Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation) UIGP-1001 4988005371720
Medúlla CD 14 Elektra Entertainment (renamed from Elektra 1989–2004; revived as Elektra 2009-06-01) CD 62984 075596298421
Medúlla CD 14 Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation) 9867589 602498675892
Medúlla Hybrid SACD 14 One Little Indian Records 9867591 602498675915
Medúlla (unknown) 15
Medúlla (cardboard gatefold package) CD 14 Elektra Entertainment (renamed from Elektra 1989–2004; revived as Elektra 2009-06-01) 62985-2 075596298520
Medúlla CD 14 One Little Indian Records 60219867590 602498675908
Medúlla (Surrounded) DualDisc 14 One Little Indian Records tplp358dual 5016958073107
Medúlla DualDisc 14 Atlantic (Warner Music imprint) R2 73327 081227332723
Medúlla 2×12" Vinyl 8 + 6 Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation) 4751689 602547516893

Relationships

associated singles/EPs: Triumph of a Heart
Who Is It
included in: (____surrounded):
part of: 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2005 edition)
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000712627 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/39459 [info]
Wikidata: Q842502 [info]
other databases: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/bjork/medulla/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/mh63 [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Most Recent

Bjork's long-awaited Medulla presented the Icelandic innovator with a challenge. Not only did she have to follow-up her breathtaking 2001 masterpiece Vespertine, but she also decided to do away with instruments. "I only wanted to work with vocalists," she proclaimed in a recent magazine interview.

No instruments? No problem. Welcome human beatbox artists Schlomo, Rahzel (of The Roots) and Dokaka. And many tracks still have a distinctly electronic edge, helped along by Bjork's longtime collaborator Mark 'LFO' Bell. Bjork also has the most powerful instrument of all at her disposal - her voice.

Fans will feel at home with the opener, "The Pleasure is All Mine", with those familiar trademark wailings and some pleasant Vespertine-like harmonies courtesy of an Icelandic choir. Many songs have a minimalist feel, such as "Show Me Forgiveness" and "Submarine" which features Robert Wyatt. The Icelandic "Vokuro" and "Sonnets / Unrealities XI" are full-on choral numbers with an almost religious tone to them. "Desired Constellation" is one of the more effective slow tunes, with Bjork warbling over a background of delicate digi-noise.

It's not all simplicity though. "Where is the Line" is a mish-mash of ideas, sounding like a fight between a choir and a rack of effects boxes, with neither winning. "Oceania" too, which opened the Athens Olympics, is spoilt by some overenthusiastic vocal whoopings. An Inuit throat singer called Tagaq is also brought into the mix, whose contributions range from unnerving ("The Pleasure Is All Mine") to downright horrid ("Ancestors").

This is not a radio-friendly album. There are no "It's Oh So Quiet" moments here. The only really immediate tunes are the enjoyable "Who Is It" and the closing track "Triumph of a Heart" (listen out for the rather splendid human trombone on that one).

Medulla has some high points, and it never gets boring, but it still left me feeling rather confused. It was recorded in 18 different locations, and you can tell - the end product feels disjointed and at times claustrophobic. Whereas previous albums like Vespertine were real growers, some people may lose patience with this one. The unquenchable desire to try out new ideas, which makes Bjork such an exciting artist, may prove to be her downfall on Medulla, as too much of the experimentation doesn't quite hit the mark.

But I still can't wait for her next album.