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Medulla

BjörkAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (400 customer reviews)

Price: $7.51 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 15 Songs, 2004 $9.49  
Audio CD, Import, Super Audio CD - DSD, 2007 $16.60  
Audio CD, 2004 $7.51  
Vinyl, 2010 $26.44  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 31, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B0002JUXB0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (400 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,402 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Pleasure Is All Mine
2. Show Me Forgiveness
3. Where Is The Line
4. Vokuro
5. Oll Birtan
6. Who Is It
7. Submarine
8. Desired Constellation
9. Oceania
10. Sonnets / Unrealities XI
11. Ancestors
12. Mouths Cradle
13. Mivikudags
14. Triumph Of A Heart

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Normally, an artist such as Bjork with a mass audience across the globe steadily eases off as the back-catalog starts to grow. However, Medulla, the fifth proper studio album from Bjork is without a doubt the most challenging collection of music she has ever released.

For the most part, the album is made up of layers upon layers of processed vocal parts arranged in either harmony or dissonance such as "Vokuro" and "Oll Birtan," respectively. Some, such as "Show Me Forgiveness" are simple acapella, the aforementioned sounding like a vocal cut from Debut minus the music. Another echo of Bjork days gone by is "Desired Constellation," a slow trancy pulse underpinning her distinct vocals. "Where Is the Line," "Who Is It," and "Triumph of a Heart" are a bit grimier with a semi-urban twist, the latter a fantastically funky beatbox number with an outstanding introduction, the closest moment to a pop song appearing on Medulla.

Although traditional instruments and breaks have been removed from this album, Medulla is no great departure for Bjork but in a sense it is radically different from any of her previous work. Some will love it, some hate it, and some just won't be sure what to think. --David Trueman

Amazon.com Special Content

An Interview with Björk
Björk shared her thoughts about the directions she is taking with Medulla in our Amazon.com interview.

Product Description

Bjork is one of the most recognized stars in the world. She has sold millions of copies of her groundbreaking albums, she is an icon of cutting edge style, & she has received worldwide acclaim as an actress. Medulla, Bjork's first new studio album in three years, finds her delving deeper than ever before into her haunting & exhilarating sound & vision. Innovative as always, Bjork has this time built the songs on Medulla entirely from vocal tracks, with no insturments appearnig on the album, creating a soundscape unlike anything you've ever heard before. Special guests include Rahzel from The Roots, Mike Patton of Faith No More & Mr. Bungle, an Inuit throat singer, an Icelandic choir, the world's greatest human beatboxes & more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mouth music August 31, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Ever heard of mouth music? It's a traditional technique for producing music with nothing except rhythmic vocals -- literally, just music from the mouth. Quirky Icelandic Bjork isn't a Celt, but she takes the term "mouth music to new heights in the enchantingly challenging "Medulla," an album whose music is based on the voice.

Bjork embarks on her strangest and most experimental musical journey here. Not just one kind of song, but many -- majestic medieval-flavored music to pop to hymns to an eerie vocal ballad backed by throat singing. Bjork even beatboxes with a choir behind her, giving a sort of classical hip-hop sound to the music. Can't get that just anywhere.

"Medulla" isn't entirely devoid of instrumentation... the non-vocal variety, that is. There's a pretty piano solo to "Ancestors," and the deep bassline of "Submarine." Keyboards pop up occasionally But those are the exception -- most of the time it's Bjork's soft vocals, singing, grunting, whistles, and various gutteral sounds -- sort of a dolphin-on-acid noise. It's wonderfully weird.

After the pretty but vaguely monotonous "Vespertine," Bjork just bursts out with her new sound. What's strangest is the effect it has when one is listening to it -- it's powerful and visceral, lulling you one moment and making you shiver the next. At times it's unnerving -- the grunts range from sexy to ghastly, and are enough to make you squirm -- but it never fails to provoke a response.

"Medulla" isn't a full departure from her past material. The opening number has echoes of "Vespertine," while "Where is the Line" hints at "Homogenic." But the heart and soul of "Medulla" rests in an entirely new zone, far away from the icy grandeur of her past trip-hop.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bjork does it again and is sure to wow her fans September 8, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this CD or not after hearing a few tracks on the radio before it was released. The idea of having an entire album composed of only human voices is intriguing, but in all reality would it *really* work? I believe it did.

Only Bjork could pull off an album of this magnatude and she does it with compelling grace. Often times you forget that you're only listening to human voice at all (Where Is The Line, Who Is It) and other times you are fully aware in acapella pieces. One can only be fascinated in the way that human vocals are cut and blended to sound like musical instruments. Vokuro is perhaps one of my favorite tracks on the CD so far. It is simply Bjork singing with only a hushed choir in the background and completely in Icelandic, but has an extremely beautiful melody. Oceania is a wonderful work also, which was recently heard at the Olympics. The background vocals are amazing with the shrilling ups and downs of their voices, it sounds as though they really are some sort of ocean creature swooping up and down through the water.

I can see this CD as either being fully embraced by fans or have them wondering what the heck they just purchased. If you are looking for a CD that sounds more like Homogenic or Post,then Medulla is not for you. There really aren't many songs on Medulla (if any) that possess the types of beats or mainstream sounds as her other works. I do recommend it if you have an open mind about her music and appreciate her work for the creativity and art of it. The only reason this CD did not get 5 stars is because, like most fans, I do miss having great songs like Bachelorette, Joga, Human Behavior, etc.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars love it October 26, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I heart bjork. some of the songs creep me out but that's awesome.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A radical and daring departure from Vespertine August 31, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I received this album through a presale from Bjork's record label website. In this first week, I have listened to the album a total of 31 times according to iTunes. I must say that I was initially disappointed with the acapella sound of the album. However, this album has really grown on me. I start to forget that the "instruments" that I'm hearing are really all human voices. Some notable tracks are 'Who is it', 'Where is the line', 'Mouth's Cradle', 'Show me forgiveness' and 'The pleasure is all mine.'

There is only really one song that I still do not like, and that is 'Ancestors' It starts out beautifully, with layers of Bjork's beautiful voice building up on one another, and then in comes the sound of what seems to be a dog choking. I have begun to be able to tune that part out with enough listens, but it still remains as a sore spot on the album.

I would highly recommend this album to the casual and hardcore Bjork fan. Every one of Bjork's albums has been so different, and this is probably the most conceptual album she has produced so far. It may take a few listens to appreciate fully, at least it did for me. Now I love the album. Thumbs up to Bjork!
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a Triumph August 31, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is the sound Bjork has been leading us to since her debut album "Debut". Challenging? Difficult? Down-right Bizarre? Yes. Rewarding? Absolutely. Layers upon layers of voices, some beautiful, some other-wordly, some almost scary, used in all manners of ways. NO ONE TODAY IS MAKING MUSIC LIKE THIS. Bjork is a genius, and is never afraid to go places others will not ( or cannot ) go with their music. She knows no limits. Most artists of her caliber start off strange, and slowly work their way toward the mainstream. Bjork, God bless her, is doing just the opposite. Her music continues to get weirder and weirder. But not just for "weirdness" sake , and it is still highly listenable, enjoyable, and illuminating. I have listened to this cd 4 times all the way through, but only in my truck on the way home from the retail outlet I bought it from and in my computer on my desk. It sounds great, but I CAN'T WAIT to get this cd home and listen to it on earphones. I am sure it will open itself up, and will reveal much more to me as I delve deeper into the rich tapestry of sound. ( A side note to the young man at Best Buy who tried to convince me the $ 19.99 "special edition" of this cd includes the dvd of the making of Medulla - it DOESN'T, you idiot , it's only got a poster in it.THAT'S why I opened it and left it in the bin and bought the $11.99 regular version instead.)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so entertaining
Though a big fan of Bjork, this is not one of her better efforts. In fact, it becomes quite annoying. This album this the product of musical experimentation, but left me behind.
Published 4 months ago by Bernard Metro
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't order from this seller: ripoff
The item was sealed, but when it was opened the only CD in the case was an America Online promotional CD. There was no music CD. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sesame Buckner
5.0 out of 5 stars Medulla
Another great album by Bjork. This album is the start of her more experimental sound with her using a wide arrange of instruments. Read more
Published 6 months ago by -no name-
5.0 out of 5 stars Bjork, amazing of course!
I've been a Bjork fan since the sugarcubes and I have loved watching her grow and evolve! This album is a treat for the ears!
Published 7 months ago by sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars Desired Constellation, Oceania, Where is the Line... You need any more...
She took a huge risk doing an album with just vocals. However, she did a perfect job. It's Björk, enough said.
Published 7 months ago by Wolfgang Escalante
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Album
Of course, Bjork does it again. She's phenomenally talented, as always. Loved adding this one to my collection of her entire catalog :-)
Published 9 months ago by Richard Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite what some say, up there with her best
I'll try to make this short: I bought "Medulla" the day it came out and have listened to it so much over the years. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Shelley D. Bowen
4.0 out of 5 stars Bjork is Bjork
As expected Bjork's music is alternative and deep, amazingly put together. The vinyl is of great quality and the package that I received it in, perfectly protecting it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Reggina
5.0 out of 5 stars You Will Love It, Or You Will Hate It
I personally love this album. I can honestly say this is the most unique and ambitious album I have ever heard. You need to enter into this experience with an open mind. Read more
Published 11 months ago by ThatOneGuy
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahh.... Bjork
I love Bjork! What else can one say about it? The triumph of the heart remains one of my favorite songs ever!!!
Published 17 months ago by SpencerO
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