9. Mutual Core
The penultimate Biophilia track caters to the electronica heads more so than the rest. Introduced with a low-key pump organ, “Mutual Core” adopts the album’s flagpole aesthetic and does little to distinguish itself. At first. [lastfm]Bjork[/lastfm]‘s vocals swell to inimitable heights before erratic industrial drum rhythms overpower the mix, twisting “Core” into a break-beat pop track sure to bewitch longtime fans. Fans of Vespertine, this track is for you.
In glorious circular artistry, Biophilia ends as it begun: a delicate harp (plucked by a pendulum; see above) echos the opening melody of “Moon,” though its rhythm is meditative, its structure beat-less (a gorgeous counterpoint to preceding rager, “Mutual Core”). “Solstice” closes the album with a ballad bordering on timidity; her vocals are as strong as ever, but the repetitive melody continues as is until it abruptly comes to an end. No better song could end this album. Its minimalism mirrors the humility Bjork intends for us to confront and embrace as face the vastness of the universe. Nature, science, the mysticism of the world that lies among us is not something to fear or conquer, insofar as we do not fear or conquer ourselves. “Solstice” has a lonely quality that leaves Bjork unaccompanied by the record’s typical sonic fanfare; at the end, she is alone with the rhythms of the earth, yet aware of the many atoms, souls, bodies, stars, planets, etc etc that make up the entirety of being. And so she sings, “You remember / that you yourself are a light-bearer / who receives her radiance from others.”
[lastfm]Bjork[/lastfm] – Biophilia (Nonesuch / One Little Indian)
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