Album Review: Björk – Utopia

The ninth studio release from Icelandic virtuoso Björk displays her unique ability to once again stretch the boundaries of popular music and imagination. Her new offering Utopia, (One Little Indian Records) builds upon the universe of sound she has become known for, adding new layers of creativity to more fully express her artistic vision. Her unique ability to graft electronic sounds upon reverberations of the natural world around us is unquestionably blissful and haunting all at once. Blissful, in that it offers us a glimpse into the hybrid nature of the natural and digital world we live in. Haunting, because of the odd rhythms and tonality, which can be as violent as an earthquake, or as beautiful as a waterfall simultaneously.

Overseeing her artistic vision, Björk wrote (5 tracks co-written by Arca and 1 co-written by Sarah Hopkins), co-produced (with Arca, one track co-produced by Rabit) and edited the album. Also, she formed a twelve piece Icelandic female flute orchestra, which was arranged and conducted again by her. The album pulls at our humanity in an attempt to encourage optimism and hopefulness for our world. The theme of utopia is felt throughout each track. No track embodies this more than Tabula Rasa which encourages the young to carve their own path in the world, and not be held back by the mistakes of their fathers. The hopeful lyrics seem to be directed at young women, but it is a message I believe we can all embrace and put forth in our lives, no matter our age.

After exploring life, almost at the molecular and cellular level on the last two studio releases Vulnicura and Biophilia, Björk has broadened her scope on Utopia to speak to the world. The message is one of hope, renewal and positivity. Art normally imitates life. If only we can find a way to reverse this age-old axiom in the case of Utopia, we would all be walking in a much brighter direction.

Bjork: Utopia
One Little Indian Records
Release Date: November 24, 2017

Track List:
1. Arisen My Senses
2. Blissing Me
3. The Gate
4. Utopia
5. Body Memory
6. Features Creatures
7. Courtship
8. Losss
9. Sue Me
10. Tabula Rasa
11. Claimstaker
12. Paradisia
13. Saint
14. Future Forever

VIDEO: Björk – Utopia

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