Bjork’s Biophilia is being hailed as a revolution in music technology. Each song on the album forms the basis of an interactive iPad app able to be manipulated by the user, and if the album art is anything to go by they are absolutely stunning. But unfortunately for the quality of this review, this reviewer prefers to kick it old school. Which means no insight into the apps (but you can read about them here).
Despite the innovative platform used to share the album, the music itself feels much like the same old Bjork – still enchanting and original, but sparser and more abstract than before. The album may have been inspired by tectonic plates and thunderbolts, but the music sounds more like spiders slowly descending on silken strands, plump raindrops falling on steamy asphalt, home-made wind-chimes striking in the doorway of an abandoned bach… with a few 90s-retro dance beats thrown in to mix things up.
Biophilia does provoke questions around how we consume music, and how we should consume it. Bjork has created an album that can’t be fully appreciated in the car, while walking, or while doing any of the many things music often provides a pleasant accompaniment to. For those who have the time and the technology to fully delve into this album, the app experience could be incredible. However with such a lean musical offering, those who are also kicking it old school may feel that the music alone isn’t quite enough.
Kathryn van Beek www.joyriderpromotions.com
Click here to listen to Crystalline from Biophilia: