Björk - Fossora

One listen in. It's really good. While I don't think the 90's/00's-only! fans will be won back, there's a sense that this whole package is more accessible than the last two albums. Which...is crazy because in many ways it's pushing further than those did at points in terms of structure (or lack thereof). There's a lightness to the touch mostly though, which might be a result of less (/no?) Arca. I adore Miss Arca but sometimes it's good to open the windows and let some air in.

I get Medulla flashbacks from this one, massively. But it has a few points of reference from her own back catalogue - there's touches of Volta, too. Even a moment or two where her phrasing reminds me of somrthing like Harm of Will from Vespertine. I wonder if a lot of this noticing is a result of me as a listener trying to 'find a hook'. Not a criticism at this point (nn I know was lowkey coming for her when this era began but I'm over that now!!), just interesting to consider.

Looking forward to further digging in. fooooosooooorra!

Now who the hell was it that said she has no plans to tour? I'm annoyed.
 
Yeah, I also heard touches of Vespertine in one or two songs. A lot of Medulla and Volta. Utopia too. It's almost as if she put out a 2nd greatest hits album that included songs from Volta - Utopia. That's almost how it feels.

If this is part 3 of a trilogy then it ends on a spectacular high and is definitely the strongest part.
 
Wow, she really went to town and released one of her best albums. I'm very hard to please when it comes to Björk because most of her "beautiful" songs end up being rather kitschy to me, and I definitely prefer her music to be batshit crazy, but then again I want it to be ~accessible~ so... but this is it. This has everything in it. Fossora (the song) is the ultimate highlight.
 
There's a lightness to the touch mostly though, which might be a result of less (/no?) Arca. I adore Miss Arca but sometimes it's good to open the windows and let some air in.
But now we said it.

I've been thinking for the longest time that most of the gripes many have with Vulnicura and Utopia are just degrees of dislike\disinterest\exhaustion\ambivalence towards Arca's handprints being all over those records. Case in point, "Allow" and "Her Mother's House" being singled out as highlights of Fossora when one is literally a copy-pasted Utopia track and the other a mirror held to "Future Forever".

I also disagree that the music and themes of Fossora are more accessible than the music and themes of Vulnicura and Utopia. All three share a common DNA rendered in different colors, scales and moods, just like three sisters: the Powerpuff Gjörls. Fossora feels lighter and fresher because the fatigue of two consecutive albums co-produced by Arca has dissipated after five years of waiting—one a melodrama amped up to 200, heavy as fuck, laden with trauma, hopelessness and pharynx surgery; the other lengthy, dense, intricate, filled to the brim and held together by a complex, subtle, sometimes contradicting narrative; one monument after the other, sharing many of same electronics, the absence of which creates a deceitful sense of difference.

In fact, Fossora strikes me as the most serious contemporary classical music album of the three. All the björkisms are in full force, the SelmaSongs, the Drawing Restraint 9, the juxtaposition of pretty and dissonant, the disregard for conventional structures, the diaristic lyrics, vocals being treated like just another instrumental part among violins and woodwinds... These instrumentals belong to the orchestra pits of opera theaters everywhere with rich ladies in furs and repressed bourgeois gays watching from the mezzanine.

It's the biggest merit of Fossora, I guess, showing the problem wasn't Björk's Deutsche Grammophon realness but maybe fresher ears, easier emotional access and a more compact presentation.
 
I can see Her Mother’s House becoming one of my favourites from all her catalogue.

The lyrics, Björk’s gentle delivery and Ísadóra’s vocals are absolutely beautiful. And even the little details like her daughter going from background vocals and adlibs to singing a full verse alone at the end, maybe mirroring her growth and independence.
 
I personally think Arca's influence at the point of Utopia was a double edged sword, because Her Mother's House holds more impact than Future Forever while being sister songs, and her sound was also overbearing in others like Sue Me and Claimstaker, yet I have Allow to be one of the worst songs in Utopia if it were on that album. I find it so toothless.

Overall, I'm glad the pair has moved on into their own personal mineral, and separate projects.
 
Wasn’t the Latin American Volta cover the only time she pulled that?

Vulnicura has a deluxe edition cover too (though was really an additional slipcase enclosing the normal cover within):
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Any/All
Only one major complain: I think gabber elements are a tad bit underplayed here. The reviews and interviews made it seem like it was going to be a major recurring thing, but in the end I found a vast majority of the album slightly too sprawling, and I think more gabber would actually help to bring a bit more dynamic to it.

Of course, I'm nitpicking a bit, cause I found the whole album quite amazing during my first listen. Her albums always take a couple spins to properly unravel, so I'm excited to explore further. Sorrowful Soil, Allow, Fungal City, and, of course, Her Mother's House are immediate highlights, but I can see everything else growing on me like fungi. Wonderful!
 
Only one major complain: I think gabber elements are a tad bit underplayed here. The reviews and interviews made it seem like it was going to be a major recurring thing, but in the end I found a vast majority of the album slightly too sprawling, and I think more gabber would actually help to bring a bit more dynamic to it.

Of course, I'm nitpicking a bit, cause I found the whole album quite amazing during my first listen. Her albums always take a couple spins to properly unravel, so I'm excited to explore further. Sorrowful Soil, Allow, Fungal City, and, of course, Her Mother's House are immediate highlights, but I can see everything else growing on me like fungi. Wonderful!
Oh strange, I think she used the right amount of gabber. It’s a style that can easily dominate the soundscape, and she used it judiciously here.
 
Yeah, it’s much more varied sonically than I was expecting, which I suppose is to it’s long-term benefit, as there’s so much to sink into. Even Bjork said she did away with the “one central sound” for this album, giving each track what it needed instead.

One underutilized descriptor for the album is how classically-influenced it feels in parts, which is one of my favorite aspects of Bjork’s music. It’s also quite a bit darker in tone than her interviews have claimed… It feels like a natural sister to Medulla and Biophilia, with that deeper, earthier sound tying them together. At the same time, I also agree with it pairing well as it’s own world in a trilogy with Vulnicura and Utopia.

Part of me connects with her description of it as an underground mushroom dance party in the earth or whatever, as it can be very sprightly and rhythmic at times, but then more of me is like… This is not some euphoric, post-COVID, super uplifting album of respite and relief. Then again, part of the fun in being a Bjork fan is reconciling the actual music with how Bjork envisions and describes it dd.
 
Just finished my second listen.

"Atopos", "Fungal City" and "Fossora" being certified fungi bops.

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"Mycelia" and "Sorrowful Soil" fully channeling "Medúlla".

The absolute darkness of "Victimhood".

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"Trölla-Gabba" being among the spookiest shit she's ever released.

The switch-up in "Freefall".

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"Freefall" in general.

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Obviously it's a lot to take in so I can't make articulate thoughts right away, but for now I can definitely say this is her best and most varied album since "Volta".
 

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