Music Review: Love hurts on Björk’s Vulnicura

With all of its Kanye West parallels—producer Arca, the short-notice release, the singular artistic voice—it’s tempting to call Björk’s ninth album Bjeezus. But the circumstances of Vulnicura more closely resemble Madonna’s recent EP: Both were thrust into the world earlier than planned, a reaction to the increasingly common problem of music leaking.

But that’s only the second saddest thing about Vulnicura. The real bummer is Björk’s state of mind: The hyper-personal, confessional lyrics detail the dissolution of her relationship with long-time partner Matthew Barney. “We have emotional needs,” she bluntly states on the album’s most melodically direct and accessible track, “Stonemilker,” adding, “I wish to synchronize our feelings, show some emotional respect.” Still, in Björk’s words from her revealing interview with Pitchfork, published this week, “I got a feeling I am going to win in the long run.”

That interview finds …

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