Biophilia is far more than a concept album. [lastfm]Bjork[/lastfm]‘s eighth studio album is the next step in the evolution of a music record as we knew it: Biophilia combines an interactive and educational experience via an accompanying suite of iPad apps for each track and an exploratory approach to producing electro-acoustic music using both natural and original, man-made instrumentation. For our review of the latter half of the project, we take an in-depth look at all nine songs to answer the most burning question for every Bjork fan: does the music hold up under the weight of the concept?
Get the full story behind Biophilia from [lastfm]Bjork[/lastfm] herself – read our engrossing interview here
The third single and album opener, “Moon” sets Biophilia‘s tone with delicate, plucked harp melodies. Or, what could be a harp – [lastfm]Bjork[/lastfm] commissioned the development of newly invented instruments for the making of this record, including a gameleste (see below), which combines a gamelan and celeste into one hulking, beautiful beast. Tone aside, she lays out the grandeur of her project simply enough: “To risk all is the end all and the beginning all.” This album has been a lifelong project for [lastfm]Bjork[/lastfm], its vast concept inevitably a gamble. Haunting vocals as only she could breathe and a distant, thudding sub-bass lead “Moon” along a composition plateau. The track picks up when a chorus of backing vocals (her own?) echo the joy in this new beginning (“all birthed and happy”), yet recalling her vocal-opus Medulla.