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Drawing Restraint 9
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Drawing Restraint #9
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There are instances of Björk's vocal soundscapes on this album, in the unsettling "Pearl" and the rainy and overdubbed opening of "Storm." Other tracks, filled to overflowing with bells and chimes, recall her most beautiful work on Vespertine. It used to be that Björk could chill the spine with a howl. Now she does it with a whisper, and these soft and haunting moments are what reward repeat listenings. With the music she produced for the soundtrack to Dancer in the Dark, Björk followed a more or less traditional narrative thread, stringing the songs together in such a way that one could follow a story even without having seen the movie. It's not quite that simple with Drawing Restraint 9. Without seeing the film, the music suggests a fascination with oceans, Japanese ritual, and the hidden powers of nature. It's spellbinding and confusing music, hinting at greater art to come from two artists of intense creativity and passion. --Ryan Boudinot
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Top Customer Reviews
To be perfectly honest, this album is extremely creepy. It reminds me of Fantamos, only I can't understand it because most of it is in Japenese. Although the language might seem like it presents a problem, the emotions evoked from tracks like Storm are universal. I give this album 4 stars because it accomplishes it's task very well, the album, however, is inaccessable my most listeners and will end up collecting dust on most people's shelves (like mine for example). And I love Bjork...I own all of her work and she is a personal friend of mine. Even so, I doubt I will ever say to myself, "Listening to Drawing Restraint ( would fit the mood perfectly right now!"
Musically, it is a highly imaginative work, cramming seemingly chaotic but beautifully constructed compositions into an organic whole, dressed up with complex rhythms, strange sounds and sound effects- on Bath, Bjork manages to make her voice sound like a tea kettle! Add Japanese theatre antics, occasional bizarre lyrics and you get a very vivid aural experience. It is a soundtrack, but for me it works just fine without the actual visual part- it would be interesting to see it, but I don't feel that anything is missing.
I can't really point out a favourite track, every song has its extreme wicked charms, but if I had to choose, the bells, glass and spoons adorned Ambergris March and the rain drenched, wailing, reverb filled Storm are the strongest, most original statements; Hunter Vessel, with its majestic brass sound, is the one I keep returning to a lot.
Certainly, casual fans and admirers of Bjork's pop side might be freaked out, and many people may just not get it. This is not to say that this work needs any particularly deep thinking on anyone's part in order to be appreciated- if anything, soft spot for all things primal might be useful here- but it certainly helps if you are in a mood for strange, unhinged music. For serious Bjork fans, this is a great dish, for anybody else, it's really worth taking a plunge in these whale fishing waters. It's not a safe, orderly and conventionally pleasant musical experience, but at the very least, it may inspire an intense (and verbose?) reaction, good or bad, but certainly strong.
The standouts on this album are Bath, Hunter Vessel, Storm and Cetacea, but, really, none of the tracks are BAD. I will now review the albums highlights:
The album opens with Gratitude and features the vocals of Will Oldham. The vocals seemed horrible to me at first, but now I think they are just good - but Bjorks are far better. The vocalists narrates a letter that he wrote, and the childrens choir on the third verse really climaxes the song. Track 2, Pearl, is a lot like Ancestors (Medulla). Ambergis March features the sho, bells, harpsichord and other percussion (eg drums). It is instrumental and sounds very Japanese, although I don't think it uses the pentatonic scale..... Bath is a very inacessible track and although one of my favourites, I can't really explain it. It features bells and sort of reminds me of a weirder version of Tori Amos' Bells For Her. Hunter Vessel reminded my of a sailboat for some reason - I love that funny brass section! (It returns in Vessel Shimenawa) Storm is the common favourite, and also one of my top-3. It is one of the three tracks on the album where you here Bjork, although you hear them the most here. Holographic Entrypoint is 10 minutes of Japanese singing by some guy with a percussion instrument - sticks or something. Cetacea is one of the more accessible songs from the album, but it is not accessible, from anyones point of view. And the album closes beautifully with Antarctic Return.
Her voice is only audible in three of the disc's eleven tracks; this soundtrack is Bjork at her pure "researcher" best. She does an admirable job of weaving traditional Japanese and European instruments with subtle (and occasionally hardcore) electronic programming. With the exception of one track, "Holographic entrypoint", the music is not overtly "Japanese" sounding, but Bjork's research of traditional Japanese compositions is quietly integrated into the work as a whole.
This soundtrack includes delicate pieces for single instruments such as the sho, harp, celeste, and harpsichord ("Pearl", "Ambergris march", "Shimenawa", "Cetacea", "Antarctic return"), all of which have been arranged and performed beautifully. There are also two tracks ("Hunter vessel", "Vessel shimenawa") with stark orchestral arrangements for brass (trumpet, trombone) and oboe, which would have made Stanley Kubrick proud to put in one of his films.
Of these more instrumental pieces, "Pearl", which also features "Medulla"-collaborator, Tagaq, stands out as the most effortlessly gorgeous and intricate composition. It is incredible to see how many facets of Tagaq's throat-singing Bjork has been able to capture in her recent recordings.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Right away I'd like to say that if this were not included in the 'Surrounded' box set (that I was lucky enough to find at a low price, yet still brand new), I'm not so sure I'd buy... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Joseph W. Szilagy
I love björk, I think she is adorable and her music, inspired...that being said, this cd is a little low on my list of faves. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Rea
Bjork is one of my favorite singer. I like very much her work. Dualdisk are difficult to find in Switzerland.Published on November 15, 2013 by charles cottet
I'm very familiar with Bjork's albums, but still never know what to expect when listening to one for the first time. Read morePublished on June 23, 2013 by Kathy-W
i bought the digital mp3 of this soundtrack simply because it's bjork, and i absolutely love her. i had no idea she had even made it, i don't remember reading or hearing about it... Read morePublished on October 14, 2012 by LIRRIK
A great record with amazing rythms and totally unique buy it and share it to be more fans I recomend to listen all the records of her they are so goodPublished on September 4, 2011 by GEORGE
Unless you're into NOISE music then pass on this release. It's the soundtrack to the movie but is meant to be listened to while watching. Does not stand well on it's own. Read morePublished on November 5, 2009 by J. Evans
It seems Bjork has expanded her repertoire or artistic achievements by joining in with her partner, Matt Barney, in helping him to add to his catalog of drawing restraint art... Read morePublished on January 29, 2009 by Jared A. Washburn
I find this to be Bjork's least accessible work, though in all fairness I haven't seen the movie. For hardcore fans/collectors only I think.Published on April 9, 2008 by Scott Carr
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