Björk’s eighth solo release is not so much an album as the foundation of an ambitious multimedia project. Partly recorded on an iPad and released (in addition to traditional outlets) through 10 interactive apps, Biophilia boasts a lyrical thread drawing from biologist Edward O. Wilson’s ideas about the connections that humans subconsciously seek with the life that surrounds them. By fusing African-derived rhythms, choirs and her own haunting voice with electronic sounds, newly created instruments and the use of the iPad and apps, Björk here creates ethereal music with occasionally jagged techno edges. While the album opens with the otherworldly and simple “Moon,” with its warm wash of natural instruments, tracks such as “Hollow” have a futuristic horror-movie queasiness—but in her hands, even the more unsettling music carries a sense of hope. For all of the Icelandic singer-songwriter’s technological experimentation, the most vital instrument on Biophilia is Björk’s open heart. –Steve Matteo

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