Out this week on One Little Indian/Nonesuch, it’s a
delicate and tactile treat.
By A.D. Amorosi
Get beyond recent solo efforts like the glacial Volta and
throat warbling Medula. Put aside the
app chatter, the details of her new album’s delays and the talk of her cold
fusion of the warmly natural and the coolly scientific Bjork’s softly epic Biophilia is a delicate and highly
tactile treat, a unique gem of innovation (pipe organs driven by computers, the
mallet-tickled gameleste) and gentle real soul whose breathy endearing heights
Bjork hasn’t touched in a minute.
Not as a composer, a lyricist or even as a
vocalist has she sounded so exceptionally grand yet winsomely intimate. While
the temperate “Hollow” threatens to swallow the tiny voiced Icelandic artist in
its torrid tornado’s vortex, she breaks through with wondrous curiosity and
passion in the dippy funeral “Cosmogony” as “heaven’s bodies whirl around me.”
Throughout “Mutual Core,” the funeral continues as a churchy organ groove lays
still and bubbling only to find itself struck by Gatling gun rhythms and a
Bjork vocal so raw and unbound it stops the show with its epiphanies.
Lyrically, too, Bjork is at her most compelling,
talking up the sensual potency of dread that guides “Virus” (“I adapt, contagious, you open up,
say welcome”) and cuttingly enunciating sexuality’s boldness on
“Thunderbolt” (“My romantic gene is
dominant and it hungers for union”). Near perfection.