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

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.