If Vulnicura (her 2015 album) watched volcanic ash blanketing the life of Björk, Utopia paints brand-new life rising from the fertile ground.
This week I’ll present you Bjork’s new album. In order for you to skip browsing the web for what others have said, I made a quick review of what the big ones have already posted. Enjoy!
In terms of music, Björk doesn’t find love with three chords and the truth, she finds love through an endless interrogation of every note there is. The album immediately announces its vitality by way of striking bird sounds, which Björk sampled from field recordings of Venezuelan shamanic rituals.
“We hear as primary sound the woodwind, provided by an assembly of 12 female flutists from Reykjavik, which automatically lends it an airier quality”, explains The Guardian.
“Björk has created a paradise-like world here, with birdsong dotted throughout the album, transporting the listener to a magical sonic rainforest”, NME says.
Her shift from avant-garde pop star to an immersive multimedia artist is not brand-building in a career sense—rather, it’s in service of having more tools for this restless excavation of human senses, their origins and futures.
As ever, Björk becomes a hunter for the origins of her emotions and a ward for their future.
On “Tabula Rasa” when she sings this to her daughter: “My deepest wish is that you’re immersed in grace and dignity.” There is no image or metaphor underneath, just emotional mass.
“However, maybe it would surprise you to learn there’s a song called “Sue Me,” in which she sings about a court battle over child custody. Perhaps you don’t go to a Björk album expecting to hear her pronounce “MP3.” Or to have her describe visiting a record store, or clubbing in Brooklyn, or using Google”, says The Atlantic.
As Rolling Stone defines: “Utopia’s no more “pop” than Vulnicura, and not all shiny, happy fantasias. “
All in all, Bjork’s music has somehow become even stranger and more specific to one person’s brain. More than ever, you’ll have to find your own way in.
And to sum up, as far as the album has a thesis statement, that’s it — the idea that heaven on earth isn’t something you wait for, but something you build with everything you do.