“Fossora” Album Review

In an attempt to be abstract, Bjork’s lastest album “Fossora” compromises enjoyablity.


“My ears were bleeding.” As the first song, “Atopos” by “Fossora” played, this was the only thought my confused brain could actually form. The rest of my brain was too busy trying to sift through the random and overlapping out of tune notes coming from several bass clarinets in the background. Bjӧrk, an Icelandic “pop” artist released the album Fossora on September 30th. 

The album is about mushrooms and fungi, hence the name.

While the Icelandic artist is widely renowned and adored by many, I failed to see the appeal as her work was too long and disorganized for my taste. The music didn’t exactly fit the pop genre that Bjork claimed she wrote music for, and the orchestrated pieces were more abstract than anything.While some can get past the odd and confusing parts of her work, I simply cannot

Bjӧrk focused too much on telling a story abstractly that it felt like the album was meant to be more of a modern art piece than catchy music you listen to because you actually enjoy it. While it was admirable of her to experiment with different notes and ways to create music, the mystical effect wasn’t there and felt as though the majority of the work was improvised and rushed. There was little to no coherency in the music, and it didn’t have a steady beat or chorus. This was especially shown in the first song in the album, “Atopos,” as it has clarinets in the background playing random notes. While it is supposed to be interesting and unique it just feels like listening to a middle school band in the background.

There were points when it was actually coming close to having a melody and being a tolerable song, but then it just fell short. Most often the songs failed to have a consistent and coherent melody and felt more like noise than music. As with most of the songs, I forgot the notes immediately and probably would not be able to recognize them. All I remembered initially was the uncomfortable and tense feeling I was left with. From the slow, out of tune singing to the combinations of notes that were never meant to go together, the album was hard for me to get through. 

Her old music was more melodic, had a chorus, and actually had a beat to it, but her new music isn’t like that at all. It’s too scattered. Some of her more well known songs like “Human Nature” and “Army of Me” from previous albums seemed far more organized and unified, especially in regards to the orchestral quality. Although certain stylistic choices such as having her songs long and drawn out were still present in these older songs, they still outshined this newer album making “Fossora” look rushed and messy in comparison. 

 Although some of the songs were on the more typical side, the majority of those in “Fossora” had lyrics that told a story in a repetitive and headache inducing fashion. The lyrics told a story as most lyrics do, but in this case it was a story that was told slowly, stretching out and repeating odd word choices. It seemed that every other lyric was being emphasized by her vocals, whether it was a “moisture” held for too long or “luminate” repeated twenty times, the lyrics told tales of love, woe and, of course, fungi in unsettling and surprisingly long ways. Bjӧrk would also draw out the nature almost all the songs “Fossura” possess.  

Although some of Bjork’s songs were tolerable and even good, her music was far too abstract for me. “Fossora,” while appealing to some, just isn’t the best if you are looking for a catchy and headache free experience or if you are an avid headphone user as loudly recorded breathing noises (as heard in “Allow”) and overlapping notes aren’t necessarily meant to be that close to ones eardrums. Ultimately “Fossora” wasn’t something I could actually enjoy listening to because of certain stylistic choices and a lack of cohesion and it certainly isn’t for everyone.