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A triumph to have a heart for...

Medúlla is the most extreme record Björk has ever released and the most immediately accessible.
Rolling Stone, review of the album in 2004.
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Medúlla is the sixth studio album by Björk, released in 2004. The album is notable for being almost entirely sung A Cappella, with every possible kind of human voice singing you can imagine. It is seen as one of her most audacious experiments, but has garnered a lot of praise for being one of her masterpieces. The most successful single of the album was "Triumph Of A Heart". "Oceania" is also a fan favourite and was performed by Björk during the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

And for fans of memes: The "Triumph Of A Heart" video provided the Internet with the I Should Buy A Boat Cat.


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Tracklist:

  1. "Pleasure Is All Mine" (3:26)
  2. "Show Me Forgiveness" (1:23)
  3. "Where Is The Line?" (4:41)
  4. "Vökuró" (3:14)
  5. "Öll Birtan" (1:52)
  6. "Who Is It?" ("Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right") (3:57)
  7. "Submarine" (3:13)
  8. "Desired Constellation" (4:55)
  9. "Oceania" (3:24)
  10. "Sonnets/Unrealities XI" (1:59)
  11. "Ancestors" (4:08)
  12. "Mouth's Cradle" (4:00)
  13. "Miðvikudags" (1:24)
  14. "Triumph Of A Heart" (4:04)


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Triumph Of A Trope:

  • A Cappella: Almost all tracks are sung a cappella. The only exceptions are the bass synthesizer on "Who Is It?", the piano during "Ancestors" and the gong during "Pleasure Is All Mine".
  • Artistic License – Biology: "Oceania".
    Stingrays are floating across the sky
  • Broken Record: "Where Is The Line"
    Where is the... line with you?
  • Continuity Nod: This is her third album, after Homogenic and Vespertine, to be named after a scientific term.
  • Cover Version: "Vökuró", a cover of Icelandic female pianist and composer Jórunn Viðar.
  • Ethereal Choir: Beautifully done in a piece like "Sonnets/Unrealities XI" and "Pleasure Is All Mine".
    • And BREATHTAKINGLY done in "Who Is It (Choir Mix)".
  • Everything Is an Instrument: The voice and the voice alone.
  • Face on the Cover: A close-up of Björk in a mask.
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Öll Birtan" which fade into "Who Is It", in the midst of a cappella, just like that!
  • Folk Music: This is probably the most traditional album Björk- or any other artist- ever made. All back to the roots of the human voice as a musical instrument.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: "Vökuró", "Öll Birtan" and "Miðvikudags" are sang in Icelandic.
  • Gratuitous Latin: The album title is the Latin word for "bone marrow".
  • Instrumental: "Miðvikudags".
  • Long Title: "Who Is It (Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right)."
  • Miniscule Rocking: The 1:23 "Show Me Forgiveness", the 1:52 "Öll Birtan", the 1:59 "Sonnets/Unrealities XI" and the 1:24 "Miðvikudags".
  • Mother Nature: "Oceania" is written from the viewpoint of the ocean, singing about human evolution from her waters.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: This album is interesting for Avant Garde Music fans, Folk Music lovers, pop and electronica consumers and people who like beatboxing.
  • New Sound Album: The entire album was made out of nothing than the human voice. This includes singing, beatboxing, humming, grunting, sighing, panting, tongue clicking, throat singing,...
  • One-Word Title: "Vökuró", "Submarine", "Oceania", "Ancestors" and "Miðvikudags".
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Björk wears a bell-shaped dress, designed by Alexander McQueen in the music video of "Who Is It?"
  • Protest Song: "Mouth's Cradle" delivers a Take That! against Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush.
    I need a shelter to build an altar away
    From all osamas and bushes
  • Questioning Title?: ""Where Is The Line?", "Who Is It?"
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Show Me Forgiveness"
    But if soon start forgiveness
    The girl might live
  • Rage Breaking Point: "Where Is The Line?"
    I want to be flexible
    I want to go out of my way for you
    But enough is enough
  • Sampling: Not all the singing is done live. Some of the vocals have been processed or sampled. The line "I'm not sure what to do with it" during "Desired Constellation" is a sample from "Hidden Place" from Vespertine (2001).
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: It's what to be expected from a cappella album.
  • Shout-Out: The lyrics for "Sonnets/Unrealities XI" are based on the poem "It May Not Always Be So; And I Say" by EE Cummings.
  • Special Guest: Mike Patton, Robert Wyatt, Tanya Tagaq, Rahzel (The Roots), Shlomo and Dokaka have guest appearances.
  • Unusual Euphemism: According to the Word of God, "Mouth's Cradle" Word Salad Lyrics is about breastfeeding.
    • One also can interpret her 'Favorite fuel' that move through her 'Stubborn trunks' in "Triumph Of A Heart" is nothing more than a stream of semen.


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