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Vespertine Limited Edition

67 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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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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Vespertine + Homogenic + Post
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Aug. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: One Little Indian
  • ASIN: B00005NSXL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  DVD Audio  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,440 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)


Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Björk originally intended to call Vespertine Domestika. The title would have been entirely appropriate (as, indeed, is Vespertine, meaning "pertaining to the evening"). Ever since 1993's vital, effusive Debut, Björk's music has been increasingly intimate, gently private and concerned with seclusion. It's typical then that Vespertine's first single was called "Hidden Place". The studious solitude is rewarding, though. Vespertine is a lush, gorgeous swell of mid-pace electronica, symphonic strings and Björk's uniquely alien, spectral vocal. There are fantastical wonders here. "Cocoon" (another eulogy to withdrawal from the world) is delicate as a breath, Björk sounding too fragile to be flesh as she lauds "a beauty this immense". "Pagan Poetry" and "Aurora", likewise, are adrift in an enchanted reverie. When she chooses, she crafts killer tunes: "It's Not up to You" is as lovely as anything on Post. Yet frequently, on such tracks as the yearning, glancing "Undo", Björk seems to be simply thinking aloud, revelling in this wildly rich and visceral music. She's reclaimed cutting-edge electronica, so often the province of geeks and technicians, for the poets and the passionate. Vespertine is a landmark, a revelation, a truly fabulous achievement. --Ian Gittins

BBC Review

No doubt the press flurries accompanying the release of this record will be full of references to 'bonkers Icelandic pixie Björk' or the like, but that would be a severe underestimation of what is after all a singular talent. Vespertine is Björk's most personal record, both in that she's had more to do with the music than ever before, and also that it continues with her apparent desire to write songs as confessionals. Whereas earlier songs like "Human Behaviour" and "Venus as a Boy" were observational, third person affairs, much of her subsequent writing has gravitated towards an intensely intimate self expression. Pretty much everything on Vespertine is written in the first person, to often quietly devastating emotional effect; there are moments that shock in their honesty, and much that would maybe come across as cliché in someone else's hands.

Like her last album, Homogenic, there's nothing much on the record that's immediate (save perhaps "Hidden Place" or "It's Not Up to You", both which have spine-meltingly gorgeous choruses); this is a record that reveals its secrets slowly. It's generally a more stripped down affair than previous records; muted beats like footsteps in the snow, whispers, clicks, and sighs open out occasionally into the widescreen lushness of Post and Homogenic; the songs have a mix of fragility and strength which is totally convincing.

As usual, Björk has chosen her collaborators with much care; UK electronica whiz Herbert, Californian avant laptop duo Matmos, harpist Zeena Parkins, as well as lifting a bit of e.e. cummings' poetry for "Sun in my Mouth". There are glacial, slow moving strings, glitchy electronics, blurry atmospherics and even the odd choir lurking in the background, but it's Björk's singing which steals the show, maybe because it fits so perfectly with the arrangements this time rather than sounding superimposed over them.

Though always an expressive instrument, her voice can still shatter the odd wineglass but here her phrasing seems looser, more plastic, sure enough of itself to sound small and broken at times. The effect throughout is unapologetically beautiful, totally immersive and often crushingly moving. It's difficult to pick out highlights from a record that really demands to be listened to in it's entirety, but "Cocoon" and "Undo" stand out (today, anyway). That Björk ? She's Venus as a Girl... --Peter Marsh

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By sevenjk_uk@yahoo.co.uk on 5 Sept. 2001
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Bjork for aroun 8 years and really love and enjoy her music. I have to say that Vespertine is, for me, her best album! Admittedly it is a little difficult upon first hearing but that is only because you haven't heard the like of it before - not from Bjork or any other artist for that. It is very honest and intimate. You would almost think it a diary full of personal thoughts and feelings (especially listening to 'Cocoon'). Bjork fans know that with her albums she tends to take a new and surprising route with each album and goes for a particular sound eg with the album 'Post', electronic sounds were the focus and 'Homogenic' focused on strings and voice. 'Vespertine' has real beautiful uplifting choir voice which gets quite lush in places as well as the electric harp and strings. Highlights include 'Unison', 'Pagan Poetry', 'Aurora' and 'Hidden Place' which stands out using noodle-like sounds against a choir. I think this is an excellent album and am really glad I have it. With each album Bjork does something new and this is a good addition to a collection or if you just want to hear something different.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Sept. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Well there's little doubt in my mind this is the best album I've heard over the last year or two. (I would have dubbed it the album of the millenium but that would be a little pretentious.) On my first listening I was looking for the instantly accesible, catchy tunes, and there a few of those but repeated listenings kept increasing my appreciation of this album and in particular allowed me to enjoy it as an organic whole. Bjork has crafted something absolutely fascinating, music that allows us to share her own fascinations, whimsies, wonders and moods. Its hard to describe the impact of this intimacy. I can't think of a singer since Kate Bush who has acheived such depths in her music and who gives her immagination such free reign. I don't think everyone is going to respond to this album as I did, but I do think everyone should give it a try. Simply fabulous!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By G. Bowden on 17 Mar. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Whether she liked it or not, "Dancer In The Dark" had cemented Björk’s place in pop culture as a pioneer of the utmost order, as well as leading to the most questionable choice of dress in a singer’s career ever with the infamous “swan” draped over her shoulders. After collecting accolades for both her music and her acting (among them two Golden Globe nominations and another nod for the Best Song Oscar), it would have been assumed by many that Björk would have come out firing on all cylinders with her next LP. Björk’s mind, however, humbled by the success of "Dancer" and a newfound loving relationship with performance artist Matthew Barney, was on a different plane altogether. The result, "Vespertine", could easily be described as the stuff of dreams, featuring soundscapes and melodies unlike any to be found in her career.
The main difference between "Vespertine" and the albums that precede it lies directly in their environmental space. "Debut’s" pop music exemplified the best of early ‘90s UK dance, whilst "Post" saw Björk travelling the world with many an eclectic collaborator, swinging wildly from the urban metropolis to the tropical rainforest. "Homogenic" represented a return to her nativeland with its raw geology and sweeping romanticism, whilst "SelmaSongs" used sounds directly from the film set itself to spark the character of Selma’s musings into songs. "Vespertine" is very different because the environment explored here is Björk herself. Using the advances of Internet glitch-pop much like Radiohead did with "Kid A", Björk concocts epic pieces of music that beguilingly soar into the listener’s consciousness.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J P V Guffogg on 8 Sept. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Being new to Bjork, I wondered how I'd like this. I had only heard a few tracks from previous works (on a free promo CD in the Times!). There is a crystal clarity to this, a sparseness, yet with the lush sounds of harp, celeste and music box. Her voice is intimate and breathy, and again passionate and full-throated. She sure can sing, and even the obscure lyrics have meaning. I love the way she twists the meter round within the music, and the Icelandic accent adds to the interest. Some tracks - like "Aurora" just seem to soar away to the sky. I love it. But don't listen to it too often, as it could lose meaning - you have to listen properly to appreciate. I certainly will be buying her previous works too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 23 Feb. 2006
Format: Audio CD
this is without doubt one of the most sublime and beautiful albums ever recorded. Bjork is completely in control of an inner world view. The image rich lyrics, the fearlessness and intimacy of the vocals alongside the cutting edge electronica and lush orchestral arrangements show an artist who never fails to dare with every release.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ourkid1982@hotmail.com on 31 Aug. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Vespertine is by far Bjorks most ambitious work to date. From the bouncy pop of "Debut," to the Electronic, jazz influence of "Post," to the almost Techno/Classical theme (if there is such a thing) of "Homogenic" to the soothing electronic take on chamber music of "Vespertine." And it's a real corker.
The theme is that of "An album that sounded like it was made while someone was cooking pasta," as Bjork recently put it. It's a swirling, cosmic album of gothic imagery and dreamscapes; soothing choir voices interweave harps and electronic blips and deep bass-lines. Bjorks distinct voice as always sounds so natural and unfiltered; this carries the album along beautifully.
Stand out tracks include "Hidden Place" (the first single), "It's Not Up To You," "Undo," "Pagan Poetry" and "Unison." "Harm Of Will" being my personal favourite. The highly textured soundscapes are layered beautifully throughout, showing thoughtful production. Much of the rhythmic blips, squeaks and taps, courtesy of Matmos are much more understated here than in any other of Bjorks solo workings. The overall melody too is far less unforgiving from that of her previous working "Homogenic." The album soothes, it lulls, calms and uplifts. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, her finest work to date and deserves a place in any true music fans collection.
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