Less caustic than Homogenic and shorn of the carnival of Post, Bjork’s fourth album initially seemed something of a retreat from the vigour of its predecessors. Glacial in tone and possessed of an introversion a world apart from the pantomime of It’s Oh So Quiet, this was Bjork looking inwards, openers Hidden Place and Cocoon inviting us into an amniotic half-light of music boxes and whispers that enchants and unnerves in equal measure. Fragile yet hauntingly affecting, there’s a beating warmth behind the ice that makes Vespertine easily the best of her work.

Christian Cottingham


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