As the year is drawing closer to an end, lists
of the best-in-show of 2001 are popping up.
Here is a small selection of what has been said about Vespertine:
magazine places Vespertine
in the #2 position on their top ten list :
* * * * *
Born of the Napster era, Björk's Vespertine might just be the
first commercial D.I.Y. electronic album, a euphoric and wintery mix composed
largely on the artist's laptop and consciously crafted for our desktops.
Despite her undeniable pop leanings, Björk has proven herself one of the most
talented composers of our time (from the intricate arrangements of
"Isobel" and "Bachelorette" to the dramatic storytelling
of Selmasongs). Björk's fourth solo effort, Vespertine, is no
exception, elevating her artistry to a breathtaking level of sonic and lyrical
list of the ten essential "alt-indie" CD's of 2001,
Vespertine ended up in position nine:
9. Bjork: Vespertine
Sartorial miscues at the Academy Awards notwithstanding, Icelandic chanteuse
Bjork knows how to get attention through tasteful and elegant means. The
beauty of Vespertine is that not even an iced-over base of flickering
rhythmic pulses, chilling keyboard washes, choral juxtapositions, and various
other means of electronic sound manipulation can keep Bjork's heart hidden
from view. In reality, Vespertine is Bjork's most sparse, though no
less dramatic, rendering of emotions set to ultra-cool sounds yet. Her coy
whispers and theatrical wails elevate her cries for independence ("It's
Not Up to You") to the heavens, while the dark circle of words in
"Pagan Poetry" casts light on the demons within.
we find vespertine on the first spot on "Records of the Year: Pop
Top 10: Stewart Lee":
(One Little Indian)
The single Hidden Place saw the newly love-struck Icelandic gnome queen take
an Inuit choir onto Top of the Pops, while Vespertine itself proved that
success doesn’t necessarily preclude the ability to surprise. The barrier
between genius and absurdity has rarely been more delightfully blurred.
reviews the top 50 records of the year and lists Vespertine at spot #32:
Time, then, to put away childish
things. Like any concession to earthly melody or conventional vocal phrasing.
Any last vestige of song structure. Any lingering foothold in clubland.
Pop’s last white witch has packed up her pop tent and stolen away, back to
the magic kingdom of Björkonia.
top 100o f 2001 list places vespertine on the #4 spot on the Editor's choice and
on the #29 spot on the buyers list:
Amazon.com's Best of 2001
Ever since Björk's vital, effusive 1993 debut, her music has been increasingly intimate, gently private, and concerned with seclusion. It's typical then that Vespertine's first single is called "Hidden Place." The studious solitude is rewarding, though. Vespertine is a lush, gorgeous swell of midpace electronica, symphonic strings, and Björk's uniquely alien, spectral vocals. There are fantastical wonders here. "Cocoon" (another eulogy to withdrawal from the world) is delicate as a breath, Björk sounding too fragile to be flesh as she lauds "a beauty this immense." "Pagan Poetry" and "Aurora," likewise, are adrift in an enchanted reverie. When she chooses, she crafts killer tunes; "It's Not up to You" is as lovely as anything on Post. Yet, frequently, on such tracks as the yearning, glancing "Undo," Björk seems to be simply thinking aloud, reveling in this wildly rich and visceral music. She's reclaimed cutting-edge electronica, so often the province of geeks and technicians, for the poets and the passionate. Vespertine is a landmark, a revelation, and a truly fabulous achievement.