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With Medúlla, Bjork's sixth solo record, Bjork set out to make a record that was still in line with the dramatic electronica of her previous records, but using only human voices to create the same kinds of sounds. There are choirs, throat singers, beat-boxers, Faith No More's Mike Patton and Bjork's own incredible voice, and the result is one of Bjork's more experimental, yet accessible, records. Medúlla exhibits the surprising range of the human voice in songs that are warm and full of breath.

There are sounds on Medúlla that in no way sound like they came from a human, which is why watching the DVD The Inner or Deep Part of an Animal or Plant Structure, which shows the making of Medúlla, makes the record even more intriguing. During the amazing beat-boxing of Rahzel and Shlomo, you can see their breath and saliva creating the sounds; when throat singer Tagaq dives into the depths of her vocal chords, her whole body contorts.

Bjork explains on the DVD that the record is very bodily; it's something she has wanted to do since she was 18, and came back to after the birth of her most recent child. "Who is It" is a warm pop song, and "Mouth's Cradle," admits Bjork, is about breast feeding. "Oceania" is bubbly, and "Triumph of the Heart" begins with a wonderfully weird human creation of synth noises. Bjork's own voice is spectacular on this record, especially on "Show Me Forgiveness" and "V?kuró," which sounds like an ancient Hebrew prayer chant. The creativity of sounds on Medúlla is even more proof that Bjork continues to be one of the most original contemporary musicians.

More by Annie Holub


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