This, we are told, is Björk’s most “interdisciplinary” work. There are apps for every song complete with musical annotation, animation and an essay.
There’s a documentary film, specially constructed instruments for the live show and, somewhere at its centre, the album itself. Overwhelmed already ?
Don’t be. Biophilia is a thrilling record, an artist not just at the peak of her vocal power and knowledge, but rapturously and soulfully engaged with life and the still beautiful possibilities music offers in a benighted age.
It’s one of the pleasures of Biophilia that Björk’s lyrics – concerning the relationship between the moon, the tide, tiny little atoms, the big mysterious cosmos and everything in between – will take time to discern and dicipher. The album certainly invites repeated listenings. Taking a cue from such musical experimenters as Philip Glass, Harry Partch and Tom Waits, the stunningly original music Björk has created here and the many sounds of her voice tell a story bigger than lyrics alone ever could.
Even in Björk’s catalogue there’s nothing that’s been as spectacularly unconventional and wholly successful as Biophilia. Highlights abound. Cosmogony is one – with a faint, wheezing, ghostbound brass band in the background, freaky synthesised musical clouds wherein a heavenly choir rises, with Björk soaring above.
Every so often an album comes along that not only justifies its hype but outweighs it.
Mutual Core adds angry rebuke and glitchy distorted power chordings to the shimmering, ringing percussion and natural awe that feature on the astonishing tracks Virus and aptly named Crystalline.
Biophilia captures the human body, the human race and Mother Earth, in repose and in turmoil. The revolution starts here.