Medulla Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 306 Ratings

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  • Summary: What the Icelandic singer's fifth album lacks in instrumentation (although there is a bit, provided by members of Matmos, Mum, and other collaborators), it makes up for with voices--lots and lots of voices. Think everything from beatboxing (including contributions from The Roots' Rahzel),What the Icelandic singer's fifth album lacks in instrumentation (although there is a bit, provided by members of Matmos, Mum, and other collaborators), it makes up for with voices--lots and lots of voices. Think everything from beatboxing (including contributions from The Roots' Rahzel), choirs and Inuit throat-singing to, well, Mike Patton. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. 100
    The album, impressive in its scope and sense of adventure, is a further reinvention in Björk's already massive discography.
  2. No matter how the sounds are made, it is with captivatingly sincere intent that they are never boring and, above all, always enjoyable.
  3. Though hardly Björk's most pronounced statement, Medúlla is definitely a highlight of her already illustrious career.
  4. Once its novelty factor fades, Medulla settles down as a stirring, nuanced album that takes a while to take hold.
  5. The most challenging work of Björk's career.
  6. 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.
  7. All in all, though, Medúlla is far too busy. Even when you're experimenting, the less-is-more rule still applies.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 94 out of 104
  2. Negative: 3 out of 104
  1. Jul 18, 2014
    10
    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. Expand
  2. FrancoisL
    Mar 24, 2005
    10
    Este disco es una maravilla! Escuchando sus dos ultimos discos... ya no se puede volver a escuchar los primeros... Los dos ultimos discos son Este disco es una maravilla! Escuchando sus dos ultimos discos... ya no se puede volver a escuchar los primeros... Los dos ultimos discos son tan buenos que hacen que sus tres primeros parezcan basura, cuando son geniales. Expand
  3. JonathanH
    Aug 31, 2004
    10
    Bjork's best album since Post, always interesting, gripping and very strange. In this world of same ole same ole she's giving us Bjork's best album since Post, always interesting, gripping and very strange. In this world of same ole same ole she's giving us something quite different. Expand
  4. Feb 21, 2012
    10
    There are decisions to be made, consciously or subconsciously, by each individual listener. Is it humanizing to use people as instruments, orThere are decisions to be made, consciously or subconsciously, by each individual listener. Is it humanizing to use people as instruments, or is it dehumanizing? Does the menace sublimated to varying degrees in each song represent an unusual honesty about the human condition, or does it only serve to further solidify Björk's image as a devoted eccentric? Neither choice is wrong. What both sides of any argument will have to agree upon is the powerful sense of immediacy that Björk has achieved. It took me two more listens after the initial three to stop scrutinizing each vocal element as I would the chorus in a pop song. Even after the urge is suppressed, it subconsciously remains -- each "instrument", being explicitly human, demands our constant attention. This is initially very uncomfortable, but it gradually works its way down to strange and beautiful. Your first experience of "Where is the Line" will be of a song that is aggressively strange and threatening. By play number ten -- and you must listen to this song an absolute minimum of ten times, as soon as possible -- you'll realize that it's just a texturally fascinating bit of cinema with an emphasis on the contrast between Björk's high voice and some shockingly deep backing vocals. When the electronic distortion hits, goosebumps will rise, no matter how many times you've heard it -- but the first time, you'll be frightened that they might burst. The song clearly has it in for you...until it doesn't any more, at which point it's simply titillating and fun. Expand
  5. ixata
    Dec 22, 2006
    9
    shamely, can't give it a 10, for the icelandic short numbers are a lil bit unlisetanble and needs a lot of courage listenin it to shamely, can't give it a 10, for the icelandic short numbers are a lil bit unlisetanble and needs a lot of courage listenin it to mainsteram lovers. still, MEDULLA is a brilliant masterpiece, but never surpasses the greatness of vespertine. Expand
  6. Nov 12, 2013
    8
    Medulla is an idea. Bjork has a tradition of molding these great ideas and implementing them in her music. In Medulla, the idea is to imitateMedulla is an idea. Bjork has a tradition of molding these great ideas and implementing them in her music. In Medulla, the idea is to imitate the organic element of the human voice. Does it work? Most of the time. Songs like "Oceania", "Triumph of a Heart", "Who is it", and (my personal favorite) "Desired Constellation" all beautifully integrate the human voice not only as an instrument but as a genuine and sincere piece of human emotion. Voice is more than a gimmick in Medulla, it is the backbone. Voice is what gives these songs their life and their beauty. But, it is a tough album. Not all songs follow through smoothly, and some are harsh and awkward (I'm looking at you, "Oil Britain" and "Ancestors"). This album is definitely a great listen regardless, as it takes an idea and forms it into something organic, unique, and sometimes almost tangible. Expand
  7. DougR
    Sep 15, 2004
    1
    Pretentious self-indulgent crap - and I am a Bjork fan.

See all 104 User Reviews