Utopia
Björk - Utopia
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2017 Ratings: #205 / 669
Year End Rank: #23
User Score
Based on 317 ratings
2017 Ratings: #24
November 24, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
One Little Indian / Label
Art Pop, Glitch Pop / Genres
www.bjork.com / Website
Tags
Your Review

CRITIC REVIEWS

100
A.V. Club

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

90
Tiny Mix Tapes

Utopia is not elsewhere / It’s here

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.

90
Exclaim!

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

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.

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
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
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
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
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.

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
Rolling Stone

The set radiates playfulness and pleasure.

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
Crack Magazine

In essence ... Utopia is another triumph.

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
The Observer

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

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.

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.

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
DIY
While there’s nearly always a sense of beauty embedded within ‘Utopia’ ... there’s also a feeling of harshness.
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.
60
The Telegraph
Simultaneously beautiful and befuddling, dazzling and irritating, Utopia has something of Stravinsky or Stockhausen about it.
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.
Nov 19, 2017*
matteo
85
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
Nov 20, 2017*
thisisabtlgrnd
90
Holy shit...

This has got to be one of my favorite Bjork albums. It's a lot to digest, but it's just so organic, so ALIVE sounding, with a bewildering mix of live and synthetic instrumentation. This is the kind of experience I expected when Bjork first announced she'd be working with Arca (Rabit also contributes to this one). I liked Vulnicura, sure, but, for all its fantastic songwriting and arrangements, it was a rather understated album for Bjork. It's beyond wonderful to hear her apply the ... read more
Nov 25, 2017
zeyadreda
77
One of the most hardest albums to be rated this year, not just because it is long album but also it contain a lot of sounds to be discovered in it, i actually got 7 listens to this album just to rate it and i still feel confused, i'm not choosing between if it is bad or good no it's actually bypassed that it's good, but is it match Bjork's greatest work or not, or is it as much amazing as her last LP, and i finally had my thought about it that i think it is a little bit less fav. for me than ... read more
Nov 21, 2017*
plowo
90
EDIT: This The Independent's review has to be some kind of joke because their review are pure ridiculous.

There is no bad song in this, Björk once again deliver to us a magical artwork filled with orchestral instruments like harp and flutes mixing with unorthodoxically weird beats. Even though, sometimes sounds like something she has already done, Utopia is totally unique, original and precisely unpredictable.

Favs: Arisen My Senses, Blissing Me, The Gate, Utopia, Body Memory, Features ... read more
Nov 24, 2017
chessmess
80
the independent needs to shut the fuck up
Purchasing Utopia from Amazon helps support Album of the Year.


Added on: September 18, 2017