Saturday, August 29, 2009
Medulla (Bjork) (2004):
Never one to contentiously rest upon her fabled glory, Bjork decided in 2004 to rediscover the main tool of her fame: her lovely voice. Medulla is yet another daring concept from the Icelander that works wondrously. The 14 track opus is a capella in intent but within even such a defined space Bjork has redefined set boundaries for pop music yet again. With a wide array of musicians to help her produce maximum gains—Kelis, Robert Wyatt, former Roots member Rahzel and Mike Patton---she further distanced herself from the ensuing pack of odd geniuses working today. Where is the Line rumbles along with Rahzel’s amazing beat-boxing juxtaposing Bjork losing her bearings amid a Mario Bros-like production. Mouth’s Cradle positively relishes the challenge of collusion of which Bjork still has no true equal. Even the less experimental stuff here—the gorgeous ballads (Who Is It, Desired Constellation and especially Oceania) sparkle with her star-shine even if they are enigmas. Enigmatic yes but there we go again downplaying the significance of an artist to challenge their listeners. Here is Bjork toying with the very flimsy strand of fascination we have for her and continuing an artistic evolution that, up to this point, had nothing or very little resemblance to her genius from which it all derives.