Review: Björk, Alexandra Palace, London
Sunday 08 September 2013
What is it? Icelandic pop star, musical innovator and David Attenborough chum plays the last UK date of her Biophilia album tour – exploring the relationships between science, nature, music and technology – at Ally Pally. It featured an all-female choir, a Tesla coil, gravity-controlled pendulum harps and a Sharpsichord.
The Independent says: "Björk channels [her] concept beautifully, quirkily in a neon-dusted cloud of a wig and a dress made from what looks like laminated wool … Her look is backed up by her vocals. The jagged lyrics of "Crystalline", a song about crystals and skyscrapers, morphs into machine-gun bullet beat drum'n'bass, with the all-girl choir getting rowdy, turning the stage into the kind of über-cool warehouse party you might hope to stumble upon on a night out in Reykjavik."
They say: The Guardian: "With such innovation comes technical hitches … Rather than being transported through the universe, it sometimes feels like a dodgy Top of the Pops recording. However, when Björk's left to get on with it, treading the intense waters of "Isobel", skewed pop of "Possibly Maybe", and punk ode "Declare Independence", there's no one to rival her talent for magic – her voice not odd but, like her talent, simply out of this world." The Daily Telegraph: "The show was most endearing when the tectonic plates of Björk's performance cracked. The gig was being filmed, and the repetition of some songs elicited bashful explanation from the usually succinct singer and a loving cheer from the crowd." MusicOhm: ""Crystalline" … finds Björk flummox-dancing, like a music box ballerina who's declared independence from her box and is discovering how her legs work … the plinky-plonky hooks of this song – as well as "Virus" and "Moon" – add to the wide-eyed-at-the-world innocence."
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