Björk - Utopia
Critic Score
Based on 43 reviews
2017 Ratings: #138 / 938
Year End Rank: #23
User Score
2017 Rank: #234
Liked by 271 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Record Collector
It’s a dense, lengthy work (at 71 minutes the longest studio album of her career). Only one song, the ecstatic, pulsating techno of Sue Me, is likely to work on the dancefloor. Yet the errant, raucous confluence of sounds and styles has a homogeneity that works to create a beguiling, and ultimately hugely rewarding whole.
100
A.V. Club

Wondrous and intense, Utopia is as Björkian as it gets.

100
Albumism

For long-time fans of Björk and music nerds who need some reason to believe, with a preposterous degree of positivity regarding the human condition, despite Donald Trump’s emboldening of AmeriKKKa, or Harvey Weinstein and Lars von Trier’s treatment of women in Hollywood, Utopia is a world you want to live in.

90
Exclaim!

Utopia feels like both a journey and a collection of statements that define and affirm who Björk is.

90
Mixmag

‘Utopia’ is an absolute turn towards the light, and it’s covered in flutes (especially on ‘Courtship’); as a result, it’s an album you’ll want to return to again and again.

90
Sputnikmusic
It’s an album that, like Björk’s music itself, grows on you – and even if it doesn’t, you can find a great deal of respect in its sophistication and its intricacies.
90
Spill Magazine

Utopia is a long winding road of dreamy elegance and passion from an artist who has created her own private world in reaction to the one she exists in.

90
The 405

Utopia sees Björk demonstrating newfound strength and optimism, painting in bright shades and surrounding herself with the sounds of her own Eden.

85
Northern Transmissions

Björk’s confidence and theatricality are in full form here, and the majority of Utopia’s experiments succeed. It’s encouraging that, nine albums in, Björk still has so much to say, and the vision and talent to say it so well.

85
Spectrum Culture
Jokingly described by Björk as a “Tinder album,” the LP is something else entirely, a depiction of happiness and contentment that fuses romantic, filial and platonic love into a vision of inner and outer peace.
84
Pitchfork
It’s a long, skittering discovery of googly-eyed romance, a rebuke of the violence inherited by men, and a generous offering of love song after love song, rendered musically with unerring elegance and passion.
83
Consequence of Sound

If Vulnicura watched volcanic ash blanketing the life Björk had come to depend on, Utopia paints brand-new life rising from the fertile ground.

83
Entertainment Weekly

Utopia is almost completely a sensory experience, fantastical soundscapes designed for secret snowflake rituals and Valkyrie picnics.

80
FLOOD Magazine
It’s a Bildungsroman, a journey from libidinous bliss down to chaos and back up to a wiser bliss based more in resilience.
80
Evening Standard
There’s nothing resembling a versechorus pop song but there are moments where it all threatens to coalesce into the purest beauty.
80
The Observer

Björk exudes a lust for life again on her self-styled ‘Tinder album’, a hope-filled set powered by flutes and birdsong.

80
XS Noize

Her unmatched ability to recreate herself and intestinal fortitude makes her a treasure and Utopia is once again evidence of her utterly brilliant creativity. Utopia is not for the timid unadventurous listener.

80
Drowned in Sound

Both musically and lyrically, Utopia is extraordinarily gripping and majestically consistent in its intent to shake and uplift. If there is one aspect that runs the risk of breaking the spell it is its duration.

80
God Is in the TV
Instead of wallowing in self-pity about the past like before, Björk – who celebrated her 52nd birthday a few days before this release – is encouraging herself in the next chapter of her life and others to look into the keyhole to the future and imagine what a perfect utopia looks like and if it’s achievable.
80
NOW Magazine

She has always channelled bliss and joy into compelling music, but Utopia’s take on love is more than pure feeling; it’s the basis for a personal and political manifesto.

80
musicOMH

If you’re willing to give it your full attention, this is a frequently stunning record. It may often be difficult, but like most hard work, Utopia reaps its own rewards.

80
PopMatters

Utopia can be dense stuff, but repeated listens will bear out not only a sympathetic ear for the artist's struggles and subsequent rebirth but also a familiar, Björk-like vibe.

80
AllMusic

Utopia isn't quite as idyllic as its title implies, but its mix of idealism and realism makes it an even greater success as a manifesto for radically open love and as a document of thriving after loss.

80
NME
‘Utopia’ is where art, real life and deep experimentation intersects, and it’s utterly compelling.
80
Rolling Stone

The set radiates playfulness and pleasure.

80
The Skinny
Utilising ideas of breath, space and breeze to thrilling effect, this is Björk at her most reflective and inquisitive. There are no clear cut 'hits' as such, and the album clearly begs to be enjoyed as a whole entity rather than have its innards plucked and picked at. However, if given your full attention, it will transport you to paradise.
80
Resident Advisor

The sound palette of Utopia is bright and airy. Flutes, pan pipes and other woodwinds make up the main instrumentation, as tactile but ephemeral as a warm breath on the back of your neck. It's rich with life.

80
Uncut
Utopia really delivers on the transcendent promise of its title with the closing "Future Forever".
80
The Line of Best Fit

Björk’s Utopia is as much about attempting to reach paradise as it is setting up camp there. On her longest album to date, she has given herself the space to embrace the natural world as well as continuing to reckon with her past.

70
The Needle Drop

Utopia is one of Björk's most majestic and revealing albums yet, but it's also her most bloated and unkempt.

70
The Sydney Morning Herald
The album might benefit from a little light to go with the shade, and, at over 70 minutes long, it might also benefit from an editor. Nonetheless, Bjork​ is never less than enchanting if you're willing to enter her world.
70
No Ripcord

Utopia’s idyllic voyage eases Bjork triumphantly out of Vulnicura’s thorny darkness, where endurance is a necessary attitude that is central to her patient story arc. The elegant orchestrations she develops are oftentimes rewarding, even if they gloriously highlight some of her nagging indulgences.

70
Slant Magazine

Björk seems to have reconjured the elements that made her music so exceptional, and consistently enough that one can imagine a shorter, more curated iteration of Utopia that could stand with her very best albums.

70
Loud and Quiet

As it is ... ‘Utopia’ remains, in its flawed honesty, floridity and explorative nature, as good an expression of late-period, high-concept Björk as one could hope for.

65
Under the Radar

Utopia, for all its new tricks and ideas, still sounds very much like a Björk record, meaning it will neither disappoint her dedicated base nor catch the casually interested much off guard.

60
The Telegraph
Simultaneously beautiful and befuddling, dazzling and irritating, Utopia has something of Stravinsky or Stockhausen about it.
60
DIY
While there’s nearly always a sense of beauty embedded within ‘Utopia’ ... there’s also a feeling of harshness.
60
Mojo

Utopia feels like a diversion, not a destination. A nice place to visit--beautiful, even--but you wouldn't want to live there.

60
The Guardian
It doesn’t sound like anything else, it’s audibly the work of an artist mapping out their own fresh musical territory. But occasionally, it also feels like the work of an artist with their eyes so firmly fixed forward they’ve blocked out their audience: an emotional journey you watch, intrigued, from a distance, rather than feel or participate in.
58
GIGsoup
Clocking in at over 70-minutes there's a lot to digest, but the focus on soundscapes over melody and conventional song structures makes this a difficult album to connect with.
20
The Independent
Achingly dull, and self-regardingly solipsistic.
chessmess
80

the independent needs to shut the fuck up

matteo
80

Utopia is the most challenging and adventurous album in Bjork’s discography. If you know where she’s been then you know that’s saying a lot. This album sounds like a synthesis of everything that Bjork has done up until now, but it also forges boldly ahead into the new. Bjork sings and sometimes simply speaks on personal and political topics, with the common thread being her effort to envision a “possible future,” one liberated from the painful mistakes of the past. ... read more

KaitoNkmra
79

[Björk Album Discography Dive #9/10 - Utopia (2017)]

She tryna be André 3000 with them flutes 🪈🪈🪈

This is the weakest Björk album so far in my opinion but I can also tell that it’s definitely the most difficult to process due to the number of layers, the huge blend of instruments and sounds, and simply because it’s over an hour long. Her avant-garde vision is richly explored throughout the album in more detail than ever before and it’s clear that ... read more

moonlitreverie
88

so i actually listened to this a while ago, but only made it half way through. i just finished my first actual uninterrupted listen, and i'm just blown away. to be honest, this album is extremely overhated. it definitely isn't her best at all, but god it is so great. my favourite tracks are arisen my senses, the gate, and losss. if you don't like this album, i just don't know what to tell you..

madisonamber
82

Alright... Utopia.... yeah.... uhm... yeah....

To be honest this was probably Björk's weakest album so far... it's good, definitely, and i really like the layering of vocals and instruments and beats there, but i feel like it lacks something more to actually keep me entertained and satisfied throughout the whole album.

81

Loved the collab she did with Arca. It was so futuristic and fit well after the wound opening and emotional Vulnicura.

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Track List

1Arisen My Senses
4:59
92
2Blissing Me
5:05
87
3The Gate
6:33
88
4Utopia
4:42
85
5Body Memory
9:46
83
6Features Creatures
4:49
73
7Courtship
4:44
80
8Losss
6:51
87
9Sue Me
4:57
79
10Tabula Rasa
4:42
78
11Claimstaker
3:18
78
12Paradisia
1:44
76
13Saint
4:41
82
14Future Forever
4:47
81
Total Length: 1 hour, 11 minutes
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Added on: September 18, 2017