Vespertine isn't as showy as SelmaSongs, and is, in a way, her most subtle work. It's a beautiful, haunting, and complex album of new-millennium orchestral and found sounds. Collaborating with several old friends (Guy Sigsworth, Mark Bell) and some new whiz kids (Matmos, Matthew Herbert), Bjork slips into each song fluently, merging Vespertine into a thematic set. When she goes grand, she puts huge, recurring sweeps of choral voices beneath the lush soundscapes. Other times, she keeps it appealingly minimal ("Cocoon" is laced with pops and scratches, and seems to have been constructed out of a single sketchy working track). And on the best cuts, such as the opening number, "Hidden Place," Bjork combines the two, starting small and ending big. Bjork has said Vespertine is an amalgam of the spirit and rhythms of the universe. Leave it to her, an interesting character study and affable eccentric herself, to give this stunning collection of post-modern pop a far-out, esoteric meaning.
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