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Björk

Medúlla (Elektra)

Whether you consider her a peddler of precious, pretentious twaddle or an endless font of pure Icelandic genius, you have to give Björk credit for eschewing the safe option. No other platinum-selling diva has had the guts to forge such idiosyncratic paths as this charismatic singer has done over the last 11 years. Now, on her sixth post-Sugarcubes studio album, Björk reminds us that the voice -- hers, those of Robert Wyatt, Mike Patton, London and Icelandic choirs, and others -- is infinitely malleable and fuckin' weird, dude. Furthermore, its arsenal of sounds is as rich as the most loaded software program, as this all-a-cappella album proves. Medúlla sounds both ancient and avant-garde, hauntingly beautiful and fascinatingly repulsive. Bolstered by pliable beatboxing from the Roots' Rahzel -- plus subtle production tweaks and brilliant arrangements from Mark Bell, Valgeir Sigurdsson and Björk herself -- Medúlla is her most compulsively listenable album, and her most challenging.
Björk goes the Bobby McFerrin route with predictably 
weirder results.
Björk goes the Bobby McFerrin route with predictably weirder results.

 
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