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The Music from Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9

Artist: Björk
Type: Album
Release date: 2005
Run time: 52:06
My Rating: 6

  1. Gratitude (4:59)
  2. Pearl (3:42)
  3. Ambergris March (3:57)
  4. Bath (5:07)
  5. Hunter Vessel (6:36)
  6. Shimenawa (2:48)
  7. Vessel Shimenawa (1:54)
  8. Storm (5:32)
  9. Holographic Entrypoint (9:57)
  10. Cetacea (3:12)
  11. Antarctic Return (4:18)


I wouldn't have believed it if anyone'd told me that Björk could come up with anything weirder than Medulla, but here it is. A soundtrack to a movie in which Björk herself appears (didn't she swear off movies after "Dancer in the Dark"?) and if this album's anything to go by, it'll be a very strange movie indeed.

Björk seems to have a love affair with the music box, which evokes echoes of Vespertine, while some of the vocal work reminds me of Medulla. However, of course, no Björk album resembles any of her other albums. While Medulla had densely layered and complex vocal tracks, this album tends more towards discordance, with minimalist instrumentation and quietly-delivered vocals.

"Hunter Vessel", "Shimenawa" and "Vessel Shimenawa" remind me of Mike Oldfield's soundtrack for The Killing Fields. It's a sort of disorganised orchestra feel I can't quite put my finger on.

The tracks on which Björk sings seem to be better, but I'm not sure if that's an illusionary effect or not. I really like "Storm", but it's not much saner than the rest of the album... "Holographic Entrypoint", for instance. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to get with a name like that, and it turned out to be a bloke warbling in Japanese(?) while another bloke in the background gives out an occasional wail and bangs two sticks together. For ten minutes. WTF?

This probably all makes sense in the context of the movie, but on its own, it's a puzzle wrapped in an enigma stapled to a fish dangling from a lampshade and doused in lemon.

[Cover - please do not remote link]

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