ALBUM ONE LITTLE INDIAN, POLYDOR RELEASE:
AUGUST 28, 2001 REVIEW: SEPTEMBER 26, 2001
read a large number of "Vespertine" reviews the last few weeks,
but I can't say I agree fully with any of them. There are two distinct viewpoints
being expressed. Those who can never get enough of Björk and think
she's improving with every release. And those who have had it and simply
can't stand her any longer. Myself, I'm leaning towards the former of
the two, but just barely.
I thought, and still think, "Hidden Place" was beautiful. But
when I listen to the full album and find out that it's one of the fastest
songs on "Vespertine", I'm initially hugely disappointed. Why
are all interesting artists on valium these days?
As can be expected from perfectionist Björk, production, mixing and
all the "by hand"-features are impeccable. But where's the spirit,
the lively, energetic uptempo tunes she so cleverly incorporated on her
previous albums? "Vespertine" is about minimalistic soundscapes,
brittle electronics and even more tender string arrangements and a whispering
Icelandic woman and her intimate thoughts. Her high pitch outbursts aren't
as frequent as before, and I guess a lot of people thank God for that,
but I just sink into inner sleep when nothing is pointy or edgy. I miss
songs like "Hyperballad" and "Army of Me".
"Vespertine" is still a natural continuance from "Homogenic"
and to a certain extent also "Selmasongs", but the catchy, bombastic
dance numbers stand back this time in favour of more introverted pieces.
Very good, no doubt, but I'd be happier if her next album was more Björkish.
Don't hold back, girl.