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Music / Medúlla

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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.

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", while "Oceania" was also enough of a fan favourite to be 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.



  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)


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".
  • Interspecies Romance: In the "Triumph of a Heart", Bjork's character is married to a cat, or at least a strange being that looks like a cat.
  • 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.
  • 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.