Review - Vespertine

Artist: Björk

Label: Elektra
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Vespertine

What do you suppose an average day is like for Björk? Grand international pop-princess adventure or "six glasses of water/ seven phone calls"? That detail, dropped into the lyrics to "It's Not Up to You," provides an important reminder that all the emotional and sonic swoops and swirls of the dazzling "Vespertine" came from the head and heart of a working single mother.

Björk's collaborations with cutting-edge electronic cut-and-pasters such as Matmos and Matthew Herbert have fostered the impression that she might take her modernist-art pop further into the abstract. Nothing could be further from the truth. The concrete samples and beats are here, but the album is suffused with a deft mix of more lulling sounds -- billowing veils of strings, oooh-ing choruses, tintinnabulary music boxes and harps and the singer's own mercurial voice.

The swoony production is perfect for the head-over-heels songs of amorous bonding ("Hidden Place," "Cocoon," "Unison") and odes to finding calm and transcendence amid the everyday ("It's Not Up to You," "Undo"), especially an e.e. cummings poem set to music, "Sun in My Mouth."


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.