Björk – Utopia Review


The headline is Björk gets happy and very sexual on her follow-up to Vulnicura.
One Little Indian, 2017
Purchase: Amazon

8.0 / 10

I’m not going to claim to get Bjork. Even when she first appeared on the scene in the early ’90s, I couldn’t be bothered by her music. It just wasn’t for me. But here we are over 20 years later, and I’m getting some enjoyment out of Utopia. And before this album, I adored Vulnicura. However, that doesn’t mean I went so far as to dig into the guts of Vulnicura. I’m just now learning that it was a break-up album. This makes sense in hindsight when thinking back to that album’s somewhat jarring approach. Utopia, then, is the contrast to that album. Here, Björk explores the happiness of removing herself from a harmful situation and rediscovers love and lust and dating in the age of Tinder.

What results is a fascinating album, one which she crafted with Arca. Together, they make beautiful music where the songs come to life in a futuristic sheen of tranquil wonder. It’s as if their rebuilding the world as we know it in a new image. One that’s more accepting as well as adventurous. Perhaps, we experience this for ourselves when we discover a new love. Björk says as much in the album’s opening song, “Arisen my senses/ Just that kiss/ Was all there is/ My palms pulsating of/ The things I want to do to you.” From there, imagination takes over and creates endless possibilities. Much like Bjork’s music. However, not all of Utopia is utopian. “Sue Me” tackles her custody battle for her daughter head-on with very direct lyrics toward former partner Matthew Barney. She isn’t playing around.

Nor should she be. Reaching 10 albums is an achievement, and she continues to impress. Even a listener that may still not “get” her music. But I’m getting more from it now than I ever did in the past. That’s saying something.

About NK

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