Fossora is, as Björk explains it, an “Iceland album,” mirroring the rocky but beautiful—and unpredictable—landscapes of her home country. The title is a made-up word that translates to “she who digs.” It has also been marketed as her “gabber” album, even though the dominant sounds here are bass clarinets and swinging Latin drum patterns, with only the occasional burst of rapid-fire kick drums. The record features some of Björk’s most clever and gut-wrenching lyrics, but her complex, meandering melodies can often challenge & even baffle listeners. In its simultaneous clarity and vague sprawl, Fossora highlights both the contradiction and the genius of one of the world’s most singular pop artists.
At times startling, floundering and epic, Fossora attempts to meld personal experience with the cosmos, to make experiences universal. Like any such grand project, it’s daring and indulgent, occasionally weighed down by its own pretence. But that unwinding is usually gripping, and like the other two albums Björk’s recent renaissance—Utopia and Vulnicura—Fossora stuns more often than it doesn’t. There is no-one quite like Bjork, always pushing boundaries & taking listeners on a journey of discovery