Björk – Biophilia Review :
Björk, perhaps the most sophisticated of musical banshees, returns this fall with Biophilia, her latest album since 2007’s Volta. The gimmick for Biophilia is that it’s billed as the world’s first iPad “app album,” meaning that you can buy a matching app for each song on the album. But that’s not all: Björk has promised installations, orange afros and special performances with musical instruments built in her tiny chamber of dreams. These include a gamelan and celesta portmanteau called a Gameleste, as well as a gravitational pendulum harp, and a badass tesla coil bass machine.
Considering the amount of work put into the album, the music itself is surprisingly paired down for a Björk album. Compared to her previous work, the production is sparse and dissonant and the beats oscillate between down tempo and insanity. Björk doesn’t intend to give us too much digestible pop, and that may be a let down for some. Still, Björk is no man’s fool. Biophilia throws down 48 minutes of intelligent music that rewards you on repeated listens. Conceptually, this album explores natural systems and interaction on every scale.
“Hollow” is a song about DNA with staccato drums and strings tapping like a telegram sequence and “Thunderbolt” rumbles with tesla coil bass arpeggios. This music is quite literal and leaves little room for human nostalgia (something I cantankerously appreciate). There are only two real “rock-out” songs here: the climactic single “Crystalline” and “Mutual Core”, a fantastic romp with a thumping off-kilter drum reminiscent of classic Björk. The fourth and fifth tracks delivers a stunning contrast. In “Cosmogony,” Björk sings a romantic ode to heavenly bodies sustained by her trademark horns. But then the horns fade softly into an austere organ that hums beneath her twisting gibberish in “Dark Matter”. It’s simply a gorgeous piece that feels both baroque and modern. Björk’s Gameleste returns in “Virus,” a charming almost-twee love song about a virus and a cell. The other songs are interesting and they fit well with the album’s concept.
Although they may not make it to your acid trip playlist, they could at least help with the come down. Biophilia may feel too much like a chamber piece for some, but it’s a kind of album that will age well with time, or atleast, remain respectable
B J Ö R K || B I O P H I L I A
Björk – Cosmogony – Music Video
Biophilia is the seventh studio album by Icelandic singer Björk. It was released on 5 October 2011, by One Little Indian Records and distributed by Nonesuch Records in North America and by Universal Music Group in the rest of the world. Wikipedia
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