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Biophilia

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Over the years, the packaging of Björk's albums grew famously, and increasingly, elaborate, but Biophilia is the first Björk project where the set of songs isn't the complete package. Designed as a suite of interactive iPad and iPhone apps that explore humanity's relationships with sound and the universe, the album's concept was so grand that it began as a musical house and ended up including scientists, engineers, video game designers, and film directors among Björk's collaborators. Biophilia's boldest innovations are in its presentation rather than in the actual music, which is surprisingly subtle and intimate given the concept's immense scope, but the perfect size to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Over the years, the packaging of Björk's albums grew famously, and increasingly, elaborate, but Biophilia is the first Björk project where the set of songs isn't the complete package. Designed as a suite of interactive iPad and iPhone apps that explore humanity's relationships with sound and the universe, the album's concept was so grand that it began as a musical house and ended up including scientists, engineers, video game designers, and film directors among Björk's collaborators. Biophilia's boldest innovations are in its presentation rather than in the actual music, which is surprisingly subtle and intimate given the concept's immense scope, but the perfect size to be cradled in a lap or palm. Björk recorded parts of the album on an iPad, and these songs retain that intimacy. They also recall Vespertine, which was made primarily on a laptop and also kept the closeness of its creation, as well as Homogenic's percussive onslaughts, particularly on the literally volcanic "Mutual Core." Minus the project's other layers, Biophilia sometimes feels like a soundtrack; songs such as the album-opening "Moon" -- which features gravity harps built especially for this project -- are so soft and delicate that they take a while to reveal themselves without their corresponding visuals. But just because the music is only one part of the Biophilia experience doesn't mean it's unsatisfying. Björk embodies each song's musical, scientific, and emotional concepts fully and cleverly: "Crystalline"'s insistent repetition captures mineral formations shooting out of the ground, especially when drum'n'bass beats explode halfway through the song. Biophilia's educational side is never boring, in part because Björk relates bigger phenomena to easily understood, and often tangible, occurrences; the earth is tilted on its axis like a human heart, and DNA is an "everlasting necklace." The gorgeous "Virus" expresses its multiplying phrases in a love song with facts and emotions in perfect harmony: "Like a virus needs a body/As soft tissue feeds on blood/Someday I'll find you/The urge is here." However, the most exciting thing about Biophilia is how it expresses the cycle of discovery and wonder. Knowledge and mystery don't have to be enemies: on "Cosmogony," science and spirituality hold hands and creation myths sit next to facts. Björk holds the sheer magnitude of the album together with repeated motifs -- moons, stars, pearls, hearts, hands, and above all generosity -- that reflect Biophilia's layered meanings of love, life, and love of life. The album even completes an orbit with "Solstice," which ends with the same gentle harps that began "Moon" (the CD version of the album also features three bonus tracks, including the hurtling, previously unreleased "Nattura"). Expectations run high whenever Björk announces a new album: how will she top herself? Biophilia is easily her most ambitious project as a whole, but its music is more about completion than competition, even against herself. Educational and emotional in a uniquely approachable way, these songs are a lovely part of a bigger picture.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/11/2011
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597964080
  • Catalog Number: 528728
  • Sales rank: 24,026

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Moon (5:45)
  2. 2 Thunderbolt (5:15)
  3. 3 Crystalline (5:08)
  4. 4 Cosmogony (5:00)
  5. 5 Dark Matter (3:22)
  6. 6 Hollow (5:49)
  7. 7 Virus (5:26)
  8. 8 Sacrifice (4:01)
  9. 9 Mutual Core (5:06)
  10. 10 Solstice (4:41)
  11. 11 Hollow (7:07)
  12. 12 Dark Matter (3:25)
  13. 13 Náttúra (3:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Björk Primary Artist, Bass
Mark Bell electronics
Zeena Parkins Harp
Carol Emanuel Harp
Sara Cutler Harp
Matthew Herbert Synthesizer Bass
Thom Yorke Background Vocals
Brian Chippendale Drums
Jessica Buzbee Trombone
Jon Stefansson Choir Conductor
Saerun Osk Palmadottir French Horn
Harpa Johannsdottir Trombone
Erla Axelsdottir French Horn
Shelley Burgon Harp
Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir French Horn
16 Bit Bass
Sigrún Jónsdóttir Trombone
Ragnhildur Gunnarsdóttir Trumpet
Vigdis Sigurðardóttir Choir, Chorus
Valdis Þorkelsdóttir Trumpet
Unnur Sigurðardóttir Choir, Chorus
Sigurborg Skúladóttir Kaldal Choir, Chorus
Sigrún Ósk Jóhannesdóttir Choir, Chorus
Lilja Valdimarsdóttir French Horn
Li Ming Yeung Trombone
Kristin Sveinsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Kristin Einarsdóttir Mäntylä Choir, Chorus
Kristin Anna Guðmundsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Jóna G. Kolbrúnardóttir Choir, Chorus
Guðrun M. Sigurbergsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Gigja Haraldsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Gigja Gylfadóttir Choir, Chorus
Fifa Jónsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Eygló Höskuldsdóttir Viborg Choir, Chorus
Ester Auðunsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Erla Run Guðmundsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Erla Maria Markúsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Elin Edda Sigurðardóttir Choir, Chorus
Drifa Örvarsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Brynja Guðmundsdóttir Tuba
Bergljot Rafnar Karlsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Auður Albertsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Asta Ægisdóttir Choir, Chorus
Asdis Eva Ólafsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Asdis Björg Gestsdóttir Choir, Chorus
Arnheiður Eiriksdóttir Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Björk Arranger, Composer, Programming, Lyricist, Producer, Vocal Arrangements, drum programming, Concept, Brass Arrangment, beats, Organ Arrangement, Choir Arrangement, Beat Programming, Harpsichord Arrangement
Mark Bell Composer, Programming
Mario DeJesús Engineer
Matthew Herbert Programming, beats
Derek Birkett Producer
Cameron Craig Engineer
Damian Taylor Composer, Programming, Engineer, drum programming, Concept, beats, Beat Programming
Emily Lazar Mastering
Andy Baldwin Engineer
Joe LaPorta Mastering
Sveinn Kjartansson Engineer
Pablo Diaz Reixa drum programming, Bass Programming, Beat Programming
Sjón Composer, Lyricist
David McDuff English Translations
Brian Hernández Engineer
Henry Dagg Adaptation
16 Bit Programming, Producer, Engineer, beats, Beat Programming
Oddny Eir Ævarsdottir Composer, Lyricist
Manu Delagu Arranger
Björgvin Tómasson Organ Maker
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    So Good

    I love the experimental and scientific aspects of this electronica offering. With dreamy movement and booming percussiveness, the cd is uplifted into genius by lyrics about DNA, viruses, and the creation of the universe. If you are not already familiar with Bjork, this may be a good starting point if you own an ipad. The apps that go along with this cd are nothing short of amazing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews