Bjork
Biophilia


4.5
superb

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
October 8th, 2011 | 80 replies | 6,612 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beautifully textured and downright cerebral, "Biophilia" sounds just as refreshing as Bjork's best albums.

The new Bjork album, “Biophilia,” is at the forefront of technology. Before the premiere of the actual disc, the Icelandic pop star has ventured into the state-of-the-art area of music distribution process. “Biophilia” has recently been released as a series of 'apps' from Apple. Due to this invention, fans can listen to songs, explore their origins, become acquainted with their meaning and even remix some of them. This digital presentation results in a fully cognitive experience that helps to explore the music more thoroughly than ever before. The whole idea might feel a bit gimmicky at first, but in case of “Biophilia” the use of 'apps' makes perfect sense because of the album's scientific concept.

What matters most of all is the music itself. Bjork resigns from a full-blown, heavily saturated production of “Volta” in favor of a more organic, almost minimalistic approach. This is wonderfully showcased by the album's opening track, “Moon,” where Bjork's magnetic voice smoothly floats over slight, yet whimsical harp to refreshing effect. Indeed, the vocalist seems revitalized delivering one galvanizing performance after another. “Thunderbolt” uses its specially made digital pipe organ as the new host to Bjork's vocals that this time range from beautifully harmonic to almost suffocating in the song's mechanical mantra: “May I, should I, or have I too often? Craving miracles…”

Bjork pushes the boundaries even further in way more flamboyant tracks. “Dark Matter” perfectly captures the feeling of unexplained danger due to its rather mysterious, bizarre vocalization, while “Hollow” feels like a component of some bio-themed electric opera due to operatic vocals and sparse, avant-garde orchestration. The experimentation, which is omnipresent on “Biophilia,” has always been an indispensable facet of Bjork's compositions. Even the most hook-driven song and unsurprisingly lead single, “Crystalline,” astonishes with its no-holds-barred, drum'n'bass climax, which ranks as one of the most jaw-dropping shifts in current pop music.

The scientific character of the album allows Bjork to flirt with big concepts that are reflected not only in her evocative lyrics being inspired by literature, nature and technology, but also in carefully designed sound. The soothing framework of “Cosmonogy” serves as an excellent platform for the vocalist to tell the story about the beginning of the universe. Unraveling in an unhurried pace, the track doesn't fall short of its grandiose ambitions making for the quality that's both cerebral and timeless. “Virus” feels just as relaxed making an intriguing comparison between the titular virus and the glow of love, whereas “Mutual Core” takes the archeological concept of tectonic plates and turns it into an anthem about the power of unity and sacrifice.

Every single song from “Biophilia” has its distinct vibe employing a wide array of instruments to create its own aura. Nonetheless, the album is entirely cohesive due to Bjork's overpowering, yet fragile presence. There's no other popular artist who could pull off such an ambitious cosmological concept so well. Bjork just makes the best of it boldly incorporating her style into every segment of this beautifully textured album. Her uniqueness once again remains unmatched.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

... so this is awesome.

Stream:

http://www.npr.org/2011/10/04/140926565/first-listen-bj-rk-biophilia

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

LegendofPittman
October 8th 2011



2943 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review. Pos'd

I can't wait to finally get around to listening to this today.

luschlotz
October 8th 2011



993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

AMAZING ALBUM! pos'd review ;)

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2011



5992 Comments


I worship her first two albums, haven't heard this one or the rest yet.

good review, pos.

Digging: Lisa Gerrard - Twilight Kingdom

pizzamachine
October 8th 2011



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Excellent review, classic album.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Her first two albums are excellent, especially Post.

Thanks guys.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 8th 2011



49980 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

We can talk about this now yay

Digging: Armchairpolitician - Seven Segment Decoder

luschlotz
October 8th 2011



993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^exactly my thoughts

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool. So, what's the best song on the album? For me, it's a three-way tie between Cosmogony, Virus and Mutual Core.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2011



15728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

real good record

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2011



18250 Comments


awesome

Digging: Syndrone - Salmataxia

Polymath
October 8th 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

'Thunderbolt' and 'Cosmogony' are probably my favorites.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thunderbolt? Yes. Great choice. The song is sick too.

Polymath
October 8th 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I love the use of tesla coils in it, makes the song feel like a thunderbolt.

luschlotz
October 8th 2011



993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hmmm. Virus, Hollow, or crystalline

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"I love the use of tesla coils in it, makes the song feel like a thunderbolt."

It's the same with Mutual Core when some bits just make you think about tectonic plates moving. lol

Hollow and Crystalline are also kick-ass like most songs on here. I'm only not very convinced by Solstice.



Polymath
October 8th 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Most of these songs paint a good image, like 'Dark Matter' makes me feel like I'm floating in dark matter. 'Solstice' is probably the worst on this album, but it isn't too shabby.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Exactly. These songs definitely evoke images. This is the biggest accomplishment of this album imo.

Iai
Emeritus
October 8th 2011



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cannot fucking wait to hear this album.

CasinoColumbus
October 8th 2011



340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Heard Crystalline somewhere, not to long ago. Didn't know it was from her new album. Will definitely check this out soon. Good review by the way.



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