Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. The most challenging work of Björk's career.
  2. Without a doubt the most challenging collection of music she has ever released.
  3. All in all, though, Medúlla is far too busy. Even when you're experimenting, the less-is-more rule still applies.
  4. Those who are up for the challenge will find much to admire.
  5. Blender
    It's conceptually daring, but beyond a few ecstatic moments... the sound is familiarly Bjorkish. [Oct 2004, p.113]
  6. A fractured LP, compelling and convincing in its intent, but just plain less satisfying than Vespertine or Post.
  7. This record is so far beyond anything that she has done in the past that it is absolutely certain to alienate the majority of the listening public and more than a few of her fans.
  8. Everything, you suspect, that people hate about Björk is multiplied a thousandfold here. But by the same measure, to her fans, “Medulla” is an intimate, ecstatic wonder.
  9. Fans of the Icelandic wonder's more orchestral tunes might think there's something missing here. Well, unless they're too busy being totally blown away.
  10. Entertainment Weekly
    One of her best efforts. [10 Sep 2004, p.161]
  11. Filter
    Doubtless the closest she'll ever come to letting you dance in the madfields of her mind with her. [#12, p.94]
  12. No matter how the sounds are made, it is with captivatingly sincere intent that they are never boring and, above all, always enjoyable.
  13. 100
    The album, impressive in its scope and sense of adventure, is a further reinvention in Björk's already massive discography.
  14. The luminosity of her performance counters the album's tendency toward dry formalism. [5 Sep 2004]
  15. Björk shrouds Medúlla in mystery and darkness, but it's far from gloomy.
  16. Mojo
    Not only the bravest record she's ever made, it's also one of the strangest and most uncompromising by a major artist to get a commercial release. [Sep 2004, p.93]
  17. This disc may have a wilder sense of love-and-adventure about it, and may offer the thrills of an unpredictable ride, but, in its capriciousness and incongruousness, the thing Medulla rarely feels like is an album.
  18. New Musical Express (NME)
    A notch below the genius of 'Debut' or 'Homogenic' but precious nonetheless. [4 Sep 2004, p.73]
  19. Especially when heard on headphones, Medulla is an overwhelming sonic bliss-out, Phil Spector’s wall of sound channeled through the voice box.
  20. Bits of Medulla sound similar to Vespertine, but there’s a marked distinction in the means of delivery and enough change to keep things interesting.
  21. Björk weaves into Medúlla a palpable longing for a simpler world--a world predating smart bombs and collapsing towers, a world in which life revolved around the expressive raising of one’s voice, both solitarily and in concert with others.
  22. It continues Björk's run of releases that sound nothing like their predecessors, yet is, as ever, particular to her.
  23. Planet
    The replay moments on Medulla are the tracks where Bjork reconnects with perennial producer Mark Bell. [#8, p.78]
  24. Björk has transcended any pop plinth she may (incorrectly) have been placed upon, to become, probably, our greatest contemporary female vocalist since Diamanda Galas.
  25. Will frustrate as many fans as it enchants.
  26. Q Magazine
    The few electronic beats and textures are deft, discreet soundbeds for the lush intimacies of the vocals, which slip from soothing to strident. [Oct 2004, p.120]
  27. Rolling Stone
    Both the most extreme record Bjork has ever released and the most immediately accesible. [16 Sep 2004, p.79]
  28. Bjork’s great achievement with Medulla is in taking a self-imposed limitation and managing to craft a full-bodied, multilayered work from such a basic toolset.
  29. Spin
    It's no mere gimmick. [Oct 2004, p.111]
  30. The question is not whether Medúlla is brilliant; insofar as this can be objectively asserted, it most certainly is. The question is really, Do you like Björk? Do you like her a lot? Obviously, a Björk a capella album is going to be lost on you if you never really liked her vocal style in the first place.
  31. To me, Medulla is an experiment in transforming the primal power of the human voice into a 21st century context. It's an amazing effort, and it's one of the best albums of the year.
  32. Once its novelty factor fades, Medulla settles down as a stirring, nuanced album that takes a while to take hold.
  33. Medulla may divide Björk's audience, but, combining intellectual rigour and sensual ravishment, it is brave and unique.
  34. While the album might seem to be a conceptual stunt, it finds gorgeous and startling new ways to extend Bjork's longtime mission: merging the earthy and the ethereal. [29 Aug 2004]
  35. The Wire
    Possibly the most daring record she's ever made... [but] Medulla is not a complete success. [#247, p.53]
  36. Though hardly Björk's most pronounced statement, Medúlla is definitely a highlight of her already illustrious career.
  37. Under The Radar
    The ice from Vespertine has melted, and Bjork's voice sounds reborn like a phoenix from the flame. [#7]
  38. Urb
    [A] powerful statement. [Oct 2004, p.101]
  39. Where 2001's Vespertine was erotic, Medulla is reflexive and awestruck.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 255 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 255
  1. Jul 18, 2014
    Björk can sound so dark in this album. Totally opposite of "Vespertine"... When i listen to the voices and harmony of this album, I feel likeBjörk can sound so dark in this album. Totally opposite of "Vespertine"... When i listen to the voices and harmony of this album, I feel like I'm swimming on a line of notes... It's amazing and make me feel great. Full Review »
  2. aland
    Aug 31, 2004
    this CD is f**cking nuts. it takes a bit of patience to accustom ones self to some of the more bizzarre moments of this CD, but for me, once this CD is f**cking nuts. it takes a bit of patience to accustom ones self to some of the more bizzarre moments of this CD, but for me, once totally immersed in it, those moments became my favorite. the background growl that gets perfectly sequenced in the wierdly baroque "where is the line.", the rawness of "oll birtan", the hyper-ness of Dokaka in "triumph of the heart" especially, but most of all, the wailing and groaning in "anscestors" that the part in me listening to music is revolted by but the rest of me is completely drawn by its utter shamelessness and the powerful expression of the vaguest emotions. there are easy and accessible segments, however. the sound-perfect input of rahzel in "who is it?", "mouth's cradle" which sounds like hidden place redux for me (not that i mind), and the lovely "vokuro" all these tracks mentioned i love totally. the others, to a lesser extent, the one i cant warm up to is "submarine", thus the 9/10, but it's a small distraction from all the pure AWESOMENESS contained in this f**cking record. buy it. Full Review »
  3. MG
    Apr 22, 2007
    Triumph Of A Heart is great but the rest is very hard to stomach.