Heavy breathing. A sultry moan. In the distance, a discordant celesta. No, it's not an elaborately textured prank call from some hot and bothered musician; it's "Pearl," one of 11 tracks composed by Björk for arty beau Matthew Barney's latest visual tribute to Vaseline, Drawing Restraint 9.
Those hoping for a follow-up to last year's exclusively vocal Medúlla or 2001's more conventional Vespertine will be disappointed. Drawing Restraint 9 is largely instrumental, a scattered mix of horns, harpsichords, and electronic bass, converging to mimic the traditional music forms of Japan. Does it represent another bold move by an unpredictable and talented artiste? Sure. But while it may blend seamlessly into the context of Barney's film, it is, on its own, little more than a handy sleep aid.