Boomkat Product Review:
Björk re-captures the magic of her 'Homogenic'/'Vespertine' run on 'Oral', a vintage composition that's been tweaked by Sega Bodega and decorated with a vocal turn from Rosalía. It's her most affecting, most dramatic track in aeons!
"I wrote it between 'Homogenic' and 'Vespertine' and it was just too poppy," Björk told Pitchfork earlier this month. "I programmed the original beat, and I guess I was sort of going for some sort of a dancehall mood." Two decades later, she dug out the demo as she was trying to devise a way to bring attention to devastating commercial salmon farming operations in Iceland, where local ecosystems are being pushed towards collapse. She contacted Rosalía ("I can really imagine her voice inside this"), who jumped at the chance to collaborate, and Sega Bodega was called in to smooth out the rhythm.
The result is a lively, red curtained callback to Björk's most beloved era, and while the beat might now fall in-line with contemporary dembow trends, the composition veers closer to 'Bachelorette' or 'Hidden Place'. Unexpectedly, Rosalía's voice harmonizes exquisitely with Björk's, and the two create a widescreen fantasy together, reminding us of past glories but shepherding us towards the unknown.