What becomes of the broken hearted?
Brutal, harsh, devastating: the ‘Vulnicura’ album is a breakup album quite unlike any other. The sheer force of the emotive punches she delivers upon herself caused Björk to falter during the live performances, often breaking away from the lyrics and turning away from the audience.
In an album of such emotive content, the songs are special indeed. These are sessions in therapy and catharsis, among which “Stonemilker” is my stand-out. Singing of certainty and uncertainty in broken English, honesty and heartache burns through. Accompanied by a staggering 360° video (which you can move with your fingers across the screen to follow her around if you wish, or you can stay put and watch the Icelandic beach for five minutes), “Stonemilker” includes of Björk’s strongest abilities: the soaring strings with their underlying brittleness, the understated control of her vocals, the unexpected imagery in the lyrics. (“All that matters is/Who is open chested/And who has coagulated”).
In difficult personal circumstances, one of her strongest ever ballads.