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Review | Utopia by Björk

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Author: Noémi / Date: 27/11/2017 / Tags: Album Review
Review | Utopia by Björk
© 2017 One Indian Little Record. All rights reserved.

Artist: Björk

Genre: defies categorization.

Discography: Björk (1977), Gling-Gló (1990), Debut (1993), Post (1995), Telegram (1997), Homogenic (1997), Selmasongs (2000), Vespertine (2001), Medúlla (2004), Debut Live (2004), Post Live (2004), Homogenic: Live (2004), Drawing Restraint 9 (2005), Volta (2007), Voltaic (2009), Biophilia (2011), Vulnicura (2015), and Utopia (2017).

Björk Guðmundsdóttir is: warmth, light, darkness, intensity, beauty, purity, boldness, depth, hope, love, hyper ballads, technicolor, catharsis, and every single other word in the dictionary.

“Create a paradise anywhere you go.”

– Björk

A remarkable sonic adventure

What is Utopia? It’s choirs, microbeats, swells, caresses, hushed vocals, experimental sound manipulation, wilderness, and vulnerability. This goosebump inducing album is creativity at its best. It's been 2 years since Björk released Vulnicura, a powerfully inventive breakup/divorce/heartbreak album. She returns with a dazzling 10th album she affectionately calls her “Tinder record”.

It’s about that search (for utopia) – and about being in love. Spending time with a person you enjoy on every level is obviously utopia, you know? I mean, it’s real. It’s when the dream becomes real.

In comparison to Vulnicura: “I set myself up with the last album being a heartbreak album, so everyone’s gonna be like, ‘Are you married?’ with this one. But... it’s too fragile still. I think, if I could, I’d just say this is my dating album. Let’s just leave it there.

Soundscape > melody

Björk playfully crafts soundscapes and wilderness sounds over the melodies. She cohesively strings choruses with the help of electronic mastermind Arca with whom she had previously collaborated on Vulnicura. Filled with distorted beats and relentless lyrics about fear and desire to live the moment, Utopia challenges our auditory muscles and requires all of our attention.

Björk enables an infinite combination of sounds

Nothing is missing from this album. Nothing that should be there isn’t. It’s a complete work of beautiful art. Anger, pain, and joy coalesce through delicate notes and subtle motifs, illustrating once again the 52-year-old’s unique musical dexterity. Prepare yourself for a blissfully intimate 14-track poem.

Utopia’s absolute musts

  • “body memory”: a lovely mash of electro and soundscape-heavy sounds, with a warm undercurrent of luminous pop.
  • “blissing me”: Björk’s vocal vulnerability dominates this track.
  • “tabula rasa”: one of the brightest bursts of energy on the album.
  • “future forever”: the perfect conclusion.

thank you björk for always digging deeper into your multiple artistic identities.

Hear more of Björk’s raw and compelling wisdom on Stingray Music:

Her Electro Beats

Mellow Weekend Electro

Indie Nostalgia

Icelandic Indie