7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very creative and well though out project
It has been four years since Bjork released her last record "Volta" and during this hiatus, she has concentrated on recording her latest offering "Biophilia". There is a significant difference in sound between these two records which is a sign of Bjork's continuous growth as an artist. "Volta" was much more up-tempo and joyful, whereas "Biophilia" is very dark and...
Published on 18 Oct 2011 by Amillionmiles
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exile On The Record Racks
That Bjork ever troubled the charts can be seen to be some kind of bizarre moment, a brief five year glimmer in the eyes of the world, where a wayward muse collided with a open media, and a handful of very good pop songs brought her to a world larger than the Sugarcubes. With every release of the past decade, from "Selma Songs" to now, Bjork has moved ever further into...
Published on 18 Oct 2011 by Mr. M. A. Reed
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very creative and well though out project,
It has been four years since Bjork released her last record "Volta" and during this hiatus, she has concentrated on recording her latest offering "Biophilia". There is a significant difference in sound between these two records which is a sign of Bjork's continuous growth as an artist. "Volta" was much more up-tempo and joyful, whereas "Biophilia" is very dark and atmospheric. For me, that makes it that much more interesting as Bjork's most daring releases have always been her best. However, as with most of her albums, it does take quite a few listens to understand and find meaning to the songs and sounds, so a certain amount of patience is required.
The opening track "Moon" is very gentle and subtle yet sombre at the same time, with minimal arrangements, focussing more on Bjork's story telling abilities. "Thunderbolt" is very intriguing and features some very different sounds which make you want to listen over and over again. The mesmerising lead single "Crystalline" is the first track to have a consistent rhythm throughout as well as a heavy bass and a drum and bass section towards the end of the track. "Cosmogony" is a slightly easier track to follow with a distinctive chorus and a simpler melody, but is just as interesting and dynamic. "Dark Matter" is very experimental and sounds very nonsensical which adds to its appeal. "Hollow" has a manic orchestral feel to it and is appealingly chaotic until a more structured rhythm is added towards the end of the track. "Virus" is my favourite song as it has a very subtle but beautiful melody and rhythm, and a sadness that is not only apparent in the music, but also in the lyrics, portraying the devastating effects that viruses can have. "Sacrifice" is the most experimental and tragic sounding track with mysterious calm verses and a harsh rhythmic chorus. "Mutual Core" has a similar structure, but is edgier and rockier and slightly easier to follow. "Solstice" ends the album as it started with gentle harp arrangements and plaintive vocals.
A lot of thought has been put into this project and "Biophilia" does have the feel of a concept album, whereby the topic has more importance than the music. But, rather than having a negative effect, this seems to enhance the listeners' pleasure and provides a collections of sounds that can be constantly revisited. So, once again, Bjork manages to create a beautiful and magical masterpiece.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grower but well worth it.,
First of all I'd like to say that Bjork is one of the most amazing artists ever and I have all her albums (except "Debut") but her last album "Volta" was a dissapointment to me. Although there were some amazing songs on it like "I see who you are", "Dull flame of desire" etc the album felt rushed and towards the end i found it to be very dull. When I heard "Biophilia" was going to be released my hopes were raised again by hearing "Virus" which is beautiful and could have come from my favourite album "Vespertine" and the dark and mysterious "Thunderbolt".
When I finally recieved the album there were tracks i was instantly drawn to like "Virus", "thunderbolt", "Cosmogony" and "moon" and there were those like "Dark Matter", "Hollow" and "Mutual Core" that I didnn't know what to think of at first but after a few plays there isn't a song on the album I dislike at all, in fact it's an amazing album in my top 3 Bjork albums actually. I love the creepiness of some of the songs and the dark undertones and the instrumentals are wonderful as is Bjork's voice as usual.
This album is probably not for everyone, for fans that are stuck in the past hoping for annother "Homogenic" and complaining about every album since it's probably not worth buying but for fans or newcommers to Bjork that are open minded and willing to accept the new directions Bjork is going in the album is a must have and well deserving of this 5 star rating.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars always innovative and utterly fascinating,
Bjork is an artist who refuses to conform. Track 2, Thunderbolt, has multiple time signatures, and other songs have unconventional time signatures. She is a rare musical genius with massive ambition and the drive to execute increasingly unique and large-scale projects. She has created her own instruments and sounds, and a unique signature that is her precious vocal. She is an artist who will be studied and appreciated more in the centuries to come than she is now. She is the classical musician's favourite pop star.
I attended the launch concerts of Biophilia at the Manchester International Festival in Summer 2011 where the majority of the attendees, including myself, knew only one song from the very album the concert centred on. I was blown away by the impressive iPad controlled midi instruments, the tesla coil arpeggios and the sheer spectacle of interestingness that is a typical Bjork gig - but this was a whole new level, and I hope I can see it again (in London with any luck).
After many listens and enjoyment of the accompanying iPad app, my conclusion is that Sacrifice is my favourite song from this album. I once had the pleasure of bumping into Bjork in a hot tub in Iceland. Something funny happened and we shared a laugh. As much as I would love to have talked to her, Bjork likes to be left alone. Like a delicate flower it can only be handled so much before it breaks. Sacrifice is all about that theme of space, of letting be, and loving enough to give space, and so its the song that symbolises a theme that Bjork writes about so well and which this album is largely about. Personally I like the space to be left alone to listen to this album!
Lyrically, probably not her best offering because the subject matter is more explicit than implicit and therefore there is little room left for interpretation and contains less symbolism than previous offerings including Homogenic, but in any case it is still very strong.
Buy this album. It will not disappoint (again and again), and like all Bjork albums, they may grow old but they are all utterly timeless. For great remixes of these songs check out Darkjedi as well as Bjork's favourites including Matthew Herbert et al.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous,
I can't equal the musical insights set out by other reviewers but I CAN offer my own view that this is a very fine album by one of the most original talents around in music. Bjork cannot be classified as pop or dance if she ever could be. This music is experimental, boundary-pushing and complex. She introduces rhythms and ideas like no other artist and it's a testament to her worth that the likes of Zeena Parkins collaborate with her on this album. Some of the explorations in the songs are truly remarkable, uniting the movement of tectonic plates with personal emotion (Mutual Core) and DNA to link the individual with generations and species (Hollow). I think Cosmogony and Crystalline are my favourites at present but that might be because I'm familiar with them from the four 12" releases. Like others I don't have access to the apps but I've seen/listened to Crystalline on ipad and it was great. Trust Bjork to integrate the possibilities of a new medium in a thoroughly original and quality way! I agree with the reviewer who says that much of Biophylia isn't catchy: so much the better, I think Bjork has moved way beyond such simple approaches. I'm just thankful that she persists in innovating and exploring, alone amongst her contemporaries. R&B divas, eat your little hearts out!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bigger Picture,
How does one measure genius. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Bjork has been with us for long enough now to know that she would never be one
to take the easy option and therein lays her strength and her uniqueness.
Some of this doubtless comes from the strange and magical land in which
she was born; a country seismically never-still and ever-changing but our
origins can only ever account for a very small part of who we are and what we
might become. Her boundless creativity and imagination are a matter of spirit
as much as blood and bone. Composer, explorer, chameleon; she is all of these!
The arrival of 'Biophilia' is a hugely important event for the listening world.
Everything that has gone before seems, now, to have been leading up to this.
The distillation of her long-held preoccupations coalesces in music so acutely
honed as to quite take our breath away. Her muse is nothing less than EVERYTHING!
Those of a more technically able disposition will doubtless have already
immersed themselves in the complexities of the project's associated multi-
media satellites. This Old Wolf (a renaissance beast at heart!) will attempt
to examine the music without its mind-bending scaffolding, for, innovation
aside, it is the music which really matters and what wonderful music it is!
There are ten pieces in the collection (an additional three...two re-workings
of 'Hollow' and 'Dark Matter' and a further composition, 'Naturra',
featuring the skills of British electronic wunderkind Matthew Herbert...
appearing on the "Collectors Edition"). It is, in every sense, a revelation.
Bjork has always possessed an innate ability to gaze inside and outside
simultaneously and connect the dots but the continuum between micro and
macro, singular and universal, have never been more convincingly demonstrated.
'Biophilia' is a cosmic suite of sorts. The interrelationship between the
songs has a palpable organic presence; the sense of the whole questioning as
much as it is wonderfully coherent. From the silver nocturnal light of opening
track 'Moon', to the delicate stripped-down conclusion of 'Solstice', we
feel the great sense of an infinite beyond as well as the smell of the
solid earth beneath our feet! One woman's journey to this double-frontier
becomes our own. There is an age-old quality to many of these compositions;
they seem to have sprung fully-formed from the stars and the soil.
Perhaps most remarkable is the way in which the vocal arrangements have
been conceived; eclipsing even 2004's 'Medulla' in their rich complexity
and variation. Whether in the multi-layered use of her own voice ('Thunderbolt'),
or breath-taking choral expositions ('Cosmogony' and 'Mutual Core'), they are
never anything less than a thrilling elemental presence. The juxtaposition
of acoustic instruments and innovative electronics, too, seems inevitable.
'Cosmogony' is, perhaps, the finest song Bjork has written in her career.
The shifting harmonies, warm brass and sublime melody reach deep inside
us, tear at our hearts and our guts and move us beyond measure. A song to
make us feel more alive; a song to accompany us on life's convoluted path.
'Virus', a stunning invention, combining tuned-percussion and gentle beats,
supports a delightful vocal performance and becomes another delicate
and mesmerising highlight. So too the icy chorus of 'Crystalline' and
its cataclysmic rhythmic coda. The compressed and haunting presence of
'Dark Matter' is almost suffocating in its uncompromising intensity and
the plodding martial soundscape of the no-less troubling 'Hollow' bears down
on us like a great lumbering shadow. The use of organ is quite brilliant!
The aforementioned 'Mutual Core' is an emotionally shattering tour de force
which makes the very ground quake beneath our feet. Nature unleashed!
If Bjork did not exist it would be unlikely that we could even begin to
invent her. With this monolithic album her place in the illustrious
pantheon of musical history is guaranteed. A magnificent achievement!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Bjork album to date,
Yeah,I like this. It is odd, experimental,beautiful,unsettling and uncompromising. It is also gloriously humourous and loopy( in a good way ). Indeed,the strength of this lies in the fact that she does not yield to any expectation,commercial or musical.She makes music for herself,Dont let this put you off though there are some really beautiful,memorable melodies,harmonies and orchestrations here that do stay in your head.
This is a particularly rich,multi-layered album,where you just dont know what what you will hear next.Maybe not everything works-as is always the case with this artist but that's the price you pay for the stuff that does work.Some of the sounds are unique and indescribable so I wont try,but the vision and intelligence of the creator are apparent throughout.Dark Matter is really creepy highlight also Hollow stands out as something quite unique.Lyrically,we go from mythology to geology,and from cosmology to biology. Not an album to be consumed while commuting or at the gym-this deserves more attention. Comfy chair, good headphones and no distractions.
I cannot recommend this to everyone though.I suppose it could seem too baffling and wierd to the more conventially-minded.This album is normal for Bjork though, and follows the trajectory already established by Drawing Restraint 9 and to a lesser extent, Volta. One of the better Bjork albums and an amazing sounding piece of work.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing,
I love this album.
It's my 2nd favourite album of all time (vespertine being my favourite)
I've had no accesws to the apps and I've still enjoyed the album so much. Definately one of Bjorks most beautiful works.
5.0 out of 5 stars A genius at work,
This review is from: Biophilia [VINYL] (Vinyl)
By far one of Bjork's most ambitious projects (which is saying something), Biophilia promises to bring together music, nature and technology. It sounds impossible, but she makes it happen in her own unique, beautiful way, without losing any of her genius musicality. However fascinating the design and concept of each song may be, at their core remains emotive lyrics and fantastic instrumentation.
The artwork and quality of the packaging for the Vinyl edition are stunning, even by Bjork's high standards.
5.0 out of 5 stars weirdly amazing,
This review is from: Biophilia (MP3 Download)
Well it is Bjork not sure why that would be a surprise. Enjoyed the documentary on the making of this album so got it and there many tracks that stick in your mind. And if you told me a new favourite track would be about Volcanos...
4.0 out of 5 stars Listening,
Björk is the kind of artist where you have to listen several times before fully appreciating the music. I am still listening.
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