- Released: August 28, 2001
- Label: Elektra / WEA
Rolling Stone - 4/11/02, p.106Ranked #16
in Rolling Stone's "50 Coolest Records".
Rolling Stone - 1/03/02, p.118Ranked #4
in Rolling Stone's "Top 10 2001".
Rolling Stone - 9/13/01, pp.105-64 stars out of 5
- "...The best solo record of her career...a particle beam as weightless as light but concentrated with direction....awash with strings and choirs...When she opens her mouth...you go in, swept up to a box seat inside her head..."
Spin - 1/02, p.76Ranked #5
in Spin's "Albums of the Year 2001".
Q - 9/01, p.1094 stars out of 5
- "...an album which sounds like nothing else while also powerfully evoking the complex and emotional spirit of its creator....Not far from ideal."
Uncut - 9/01, p.1044 stars out of 5
- "...Extraordinarily intimate and tender....She uses her voice as well as she ever has, giving the moods light and shade..."
Alternative Press - 2/02, p.64Ranked #3
in AP's "25 Best Albums of 2001".
Alternative Press - 10/01, p.778 out of 10
- "...A smoldering heart of emotion and a true pop sensibility reveal themselves..."
The Wire - 1/02, p.40Ranked #1
in Wire's "50 Records of the Year 2001".
The Wire - 8/01, p.52
"...A beautiful thing..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/02, p.69Ranked #7
in Mojo's "Best  Albums of 2001".
Mojo (Publisher) - 9/01, p.99
"...A gorgeous reverie that lives up to its devotional title..."
NME (Magazine) - 12/29/01, p.59Ranked #32
in NME's 50 "Albums Of the Year 2001".
NME (Magazine) - 8/25/01, p.518 out of 10
- "...Enchanting splendor is the overriding rule....way, way off the beaten track..."
- 1.Hidden Place
- 3.It's Not Up To You
- 5.Pagan Poetry
- 8.Echo, A Stain, An
- 9.Sun In My Mouth
- 11.Harm Of Will
Personnel: Bjork (vocals, programming); Caryl Thomas, Zeena Parkins (harp); Guy Sigsworth (celeste, Clavichord, programming); Jake Davies, Damian Taylor, Matthew Herbert, Matmos, Thomas Knak, Valgeir Sigurdsson, Marius De Vries, Martin Console (programming).
Producers: Bjork, Thomas Knak, Marius De Vries.
Engineers include: Jake Davies, Damian Taylor, Erik Gosh.
VESPERTINE was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.
Personnel: Bj?rk (programming, music box); Bj?rk; Damian Taylor (programming); Guy Sigsworth (celesta, clavichord, programming); Matmos, Matthew Herbert , Thomas Knak (programming); Jake Davies.
Recording information: Air Lyndhurst Studios; Astoria, NY; Avatar Studios, New York, NY; El Cortijo, San Pedro, CA; Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavik, Iceland; Looking Glass, NY; Magic Shop, NY; Quad Studios, NY; Sear Sound, NY; The Loft On Lafayette Street, NY; Thule Studios, Reuykjavik, Iceland.
Bjork's first non-soundtrack album since HOMOGENIC is positively pastoral compared with that release's experimental electronic textures. Swathed in strings and laced with beautiful choral arrangements, VESPERTINE has more in common with SELMASONGS, echoing that DANCER IN THE DARK soundtrack album's meandering melody lines, while smoothing out and adding an ethereal sheen to the more angular approaches of the singer's previous work.
Here the idiosyncratic Icelander lets loose with her full range of vocal stylings, though even her most innocent, little-girl-lost persona can't hide her steely intelligence. The album-opening "Hidden Place" starts with foreboding electronic rhythms--it's about unspoken or unfulfilled desires, and it's simultaneously exotic-sounding and dripping with melancholy, a mood that persists until the gently cathartic "Undo," with its mantra-like line "It's not meant to be a strife/It's not meant to be a struggle uphill." Though VESPERTINE's textures might ostensibly seem smooth and seamless, beneath the surface Bjork's emotions run raw and exposed, as evidenced by the final naked outburst of "I love him" in the coda to "Pagan Poetry." VESPERTINE is Bjork's most mature, fully realized integration of her pastoral Icelandic roots and her contemporary electronica (electronic scamps Matmos are collaborators here) inclinations to date.