Björk – Utopia Review

Iconic Icelandic queen of all things artistic and quirky Björk releases her tenth studio album ‘Utopia’. Continuing the path set out by her previous album 2015’s ‘Vulnicura’ tracks are laced with production from Arca, adding distorted beats and a sparseness that chills to the bone.

Described by Bjork as ‘like my tinder…it is definitely about that search – about being in love. Spending time with a person you enjoy on every level…It’s when the dream comes real.’

Things start off within a frosty air as opener ‘Arisen My Senses’ introduces the albums electronic and yet classical etherealness, guiding the way to ‘Blissing Me’s gently romantic air, in which two characters swap records as they fall in love, as well as towards ‘The Gates’ fragmented heartbreak.

Like much if ‘Utopia’ the albums title track feels as though it would fit in a modern Icelandic ballet, with flutes and distant squeals echoing baby cries and birds. ‘Body Memory’, ‘Courtship’ and ‘Losss’ continue the cold and sorrow themes that engulfed every track on the album, while ‘Sue Me’ adds a whirl of rising tension to the chilled air, though ‘Tabula Rasa’, ‘Paradisa’ and closer ‘Future Forever’ continue the flute and birdsong electronics.

According to Bjork the album is not only an emotional journey but also subtly politica; ‘if we’re gonna survive… the sort of situation the world is in today. we’re got to come up with a new plan, if we don’t have the dream, we’re just not gonna change. Especially now, this kind of dream is an emergency.’

Overall dedicated fans will find plenty to be engrossed by in within Björk’s ‘Utopia’ despite perhaps not being the most experimental of her career, as many tracks feel familiar to a repetitive level, overall there is a gentleness amongst her vocal mixed with Arca’s heavy production touch that creates a calming album.

Björk – Utopia = 6/10

Hayley Miller

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