Björk – Biophilia Björk – Biophilia

Björk - Biophilia

Björk - Biophilia

It goes without saying that Bjork’s eighth album is odd. For the entirety of her career, Björk has challenged and redefined pop music into a shimmering mélange of avant tendencies. Whether or not anyone was around to appreciate it is another story. MTV’s the Real World was on so you have to understand. Biophilia is a multimedia record which not only spans genres but apparatuses for experience. Partially recorded on an Ipad,  Björk’s new record is being released with a series of connected apps which will enhance the listeners appreciation for technology and nature. Biophilia sounds like the senior project from a starry eyed new media major and proposes a new era of smart technology based albums. This possibly could be the greatest stoner album of all time if said stoner was really into Icelandic avant garde music.

Björk’s transition into Biophilia has come with signs. In 2010, Bjork announced a collaboration with whimsical film director Michael Gondry for a 3D science centric Imax film. In 2000, the artist lent her writing credits and soundtrack work to the ultra depressing film Dancer In the Dark. If anything can be said about Björk  is that her moves come with anticipation of being unpredictable. Biophilia promises to be a new era in  Björk’s quest to undermine centuries of written music. If your last recount of Björk  was with her 1996 single “Army Of Me,” you may want to stay afterschool and get caught up before starting.   Björk is light years ahead of everyone and is showing signs of the new stage in evolution. Biophilia is the new stage in musical appreciation which maybe too advanced for anyone to appreciate.

First of all, the apps for Biophilia look fun and engaging. The app’s intro is narrated by David Attenborough and makes Biophilia seem like the coolest DVD extra on Planet Earth. The apps range from animation to musical creation games based around the album’s sound. On the one hand, an entire app based record would be interesting and a large step in technological progression. On the other, the Ipad and other smart tablets are still being integrated into current culture thus an entire app based album would rest with the  privileged. I cant believe I wrote the word “app” so many times in one paragraph.

For the rest of us, without access to a computer tablet, Biophilia also comes in archaic CD format.  From the first single released, the listener is aware of the mood and structure of the album. “Crystalline” sees standard 00’s Björk  in broken electronic fashion crooning over the majesty of subterranean rock formation. I’m pretty sure that is what the fuck this song is talking about. The song soon collapses in a wave of IDM breakbeats. I said who’s ready for a party? The funny thing about the “Crystalline” single is it is perhaps the most concrete song on Biophillia. If you are familiar with the near accapella backed by odd instrumentation style of Björk, Biophillia should not surprise you. Beginning in 2001 with Vespertine,  Björk’s music has become increasingly difficult to classify. It is sort of a Pinpoint joke have the interns arrange  Björk’s albums in terms of genre.

Like with any Bjork album after the year 2000, Biophilia is best experienced in a quiet room, lying in the prone position. There are subtleties in this album which may not make themselves apparent the first time. The slow build of voices in “Dark Matter” or the subtle trip hop in of “Hallow” maybe missed if there is literally anything else going on in the room. The entire album has a beauty in isolating elements and deconstructing them to the last molecule.  I hate to say this album is beautiful given the right amount of appreciation but  Björk’s work in the field of avant electronics affords her almost limitless patience.

Though Biophilia was made in conjunction with Apple, it never feels like a gimmick or advertisement.  Björk does not seem like the one to sell out nor  Björk’s music seem like the best avenue for commercial accessibility. The artist has continued to push the boundaries of music by constructing her own instruments for this record and found new ways of engagement with the listener while keeping up with current technology. I am going to be kicking myself when I am dead in my grave when Biophilia is going to be the impetus of a new wave in album format.

Björk – Biophilia Tracklist
Dark Matter
Mutual Core

Björk - Biophilia, reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2011-10-31T11:23:01-07:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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