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Medulla CD

71 customer reviews

Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Image of album by Björk


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Björk is a rare artist – a true original, a non-conformist with wide appeal, an extraordinary genre-busting musical individual who speaks to the heart, the head and the feet. She is the quintessential modern musician, ceaselessly innovating, and completely multidimensional in the way she uses performance, technology, fashion, video and art to complement her ... Read more in Amazon's Björk Store

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Medulla + Vespertine + Homogenic
Price For All Three: £17.97

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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Aug. 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: One Little Indian
  • ASIN: B0002SVY0U
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,680 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Pleasure Is All Mine 3:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Show Me Forgiveness 1:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Where Is the Line 4:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Vökuró 3:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Öll Birtan 1:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Who Is It (Carry My Joy On The Left, Carry My Pain On The Right) 3:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Submarine 3:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Desired Constellation 4:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Oceania 3:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Sonnets/Unrealities XI 1:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Ancestors 4:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Mouth's Cradle 3:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Midvikudags 1:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Triumph of a Heart 4:04£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Recorded in 18 different locations including New York, Iceland, Venice and The Canary Islands, Medúlla sees Björk collaborating with another crack-team of alchemists and fellow mavericks. Some of them – programmer Mark Bell; mixer Mark 'Spike' Stent; Valgeir Sigurdsson--were already time-served Björkians. Others – Inuit throat-singer Tanya Tagaq Gillis; Japanese a cappella ace Dokaka; the esteemed Robert Wyatt--were not. Erstwhile Faith No More singer Mike Patton and Rahzel, his buddy from The Roots, are on the album, too. The former came on-board after Björk, adrenalised post-gig, took him to one side to rave about the project.

BBC Review

Björk's long-awaited Medúlla 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 Björk's longtime collaborator Mark 'LFO' Bell. Björk 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 "Vökuró" 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 Björk 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).

Medúlla 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 Björk such an exciting artist, may prove to be her downfall on Medúlla, as too much of the experimentation doesn't quite hit the mark.

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

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Hades on 24 Aug. 2004
Format: Audio CD
OK, I listened to it once, and seriously thought I'd wasted my money. But my advice on this album would be to play it again and again, and after a few spins, it becomes hypnotically beautiful. It certainly isn't commercial, but if Bjork sold herself to the masses, she'd lose at least this one fan. You really do have to try with a lot of this music, and I don't profess for one moment to understand one half of what Bjork is trying to communicate here (but then I only got the album a few days ago). I've listened to it regularly and have to say this could rank as the best contribution she's yet made to the music industry. It's different, some people sure are gonna loathe it, but I say bravo for doing something so personal and original. Some of it sounds more classical than popular to my ears (possibly due to her recent collaboration with John Tavener) - track 4 is an example. I didn't think Bjork still had it in her to surprise me, but hey, she's done it again!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 6 Sept. 2004
Format: Audio CD
An entire album that uses human voices as the main instruments?...sounds intriguing, and a concept that could only be conjured up by Bjork, who I consider to be possibly one of the most original artist of our generation.
Intriguing is right, along with beautiful and breath-taking.
Bjork has created a 14 track strong album that progresses on from where her marvelous Vespertine (2001) left us. Through the arrangement of the human voice, Bjork creates tracks that are diversely romantic, chaotic, experimental and dancy.
The album opens with one of the strongest tracks, "Pleasure Is All Mine", which quickly becomes one of her most beautiful tracks to date. Initially stark koo-ing, backed by various throat-like support, soon becomes a soundtrack of layered vocals; harmonious and soaring. As with her previous album openers, "Pleasure Is All Mine", prepares us for the following 13 tracks superbly.
"Where Is The Line", continues this layered vocal, this time accompanied by voice-box beats, giving the track a menacing feel. This track is one of many personal highlights, demonstrating the true versatility of the human voice. Addressing Bjork's frustration with someone, the track explodes into distorted chaos.
"Vokuro", offers us the exact contrast of "Where Is The Line". It is a beautiful, hymn-like track, sang purely in Icelandic accompanied by a male choir, simple against many of the other tracks, but still deeply haunting and affective.
"Who Is It", is a much more schizophrenic track, with its dark verses which quickly turn into an uplifting chorus, fuelled by it's 'Trip-hoppy' beat-box beat. Bjork's lyrics are as rich as ever here, "His embrace, a Fortress, It fuels me and places, A skeleton of trust..."
"Desired Constellation", reminds me of "Cocoon".
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 1 Sept. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who has listened to Bjork beyond the "chart-friendly" early days of 'Debut' will know to expect the unexpected with each new album. Continuing the introspective feel of 'Verspertine', Medulla (meaning 'bone marrow') will astound and confound most listeners.
Eschewing "real instruments" for vocal sounds only (with a little help from a programmer on some tracks) Medulla demands that you listen closely - this isn't background muzak to soothe you after a tired day! Having said that, several tracks are intimately beautiful and are calming and soothing - check out the beautiful choral work of 'Vokuro' or the tingling gentleness of 'Desired Constellation'. At the other end of the spectrum 'Where is the line' is hard, dark and cutting, the human beatbox rhythms driving the incessant lyric forward despite itself.
In the middle are melodic but rhythmic songs like 'Oceania' and 'Pleasure is all mine', overlaid with choral vocals that swoop around Bjork's own distinctive voice, as strong as ever. More abstract work such as Sonnets/Unrealities, Ancestors, Oll Birtan can meander a little - they feel like they're unravelled to the point of losing the plot and are the most difficult tracks to get into, but with repeat listening grow and become characteristic in their own ways; Oll Birtan starts to sound like 'Row Row Row your boat' with a simplicity belying its original confrontational style.
The outstanding track for me is Mouths Cradle, combining beat, choral voices, programming and a climactic ending that is hard to beat.
Overall Medulla contains more beautiful, essential Bjork tracks, continuing her excellent work from earlier albums - not as passionate as 'Homogenic' or as warm and inviting as 'Vespertine' or as startling as 'Debut', 'Medulla' is true to itself, charting the dark inner territories of the human.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Manuel Marques Pita on 25 Aug. 2004
Format: Audio CD
I was another of the lucky ones to hear this album before general release. I will start by saying that I was looking forward to the studio version of Where is the line, and I am a bit dissapointed I must say. The version she played live was so powerful, with arabic undertones, a sort of evolution from Army of me. The studio version is rather dark and slow. I still love it though. Vokuro, one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard, no words to describe it. Who is it and mouth's cradle are songs that a lot of people will love, and I love them too!! happy, surreal - you just walk with your ipod around and no-one knows how happy you feel inside.
Desired constellation.. another of those songs that are difficult to describe with words, bless her. So much emotion coming out in such a beautiful way. Triumph of a heart, makes you want to get together with your friends and organise an improvisation of noises and beats, SO MUCH FUN!!
I am very curious about what will come next, I hope Bjork wont ditch instruments forever and that Matmos and Zeena will come back to working with her, From a listener point of view I feel they still have a lot to explore together.
Thanks again Bjork for the music and the inspiration!
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