The music industry has been waiting eagerly for the new Björk album. So, when the news came and the press release was available, all media started talking about it. Nevertheless, once the album was released into market and people could actually listen to it… nobody shared their experience, no positive or negative critics… pure silence. Why? Well we are big Björk fans and we listened to the album. Very quickly we understood why nobody is talking about it anymore. Here is why.
Björk announced a new album: it is always big news.
End of October, Björk announced the release of a new album at the end of this year. The release date was November 24th. So there was almost a full month to make the buzz, prepare the music stores, get the promos ready to go. Basically we had a month to prepare to the Icelandic tsunami. All the news started talking about it without even listening to the album really. Most of the specialized press did remain silence, probably waiting for the album to be released.
Björk discography has been a series of amazing art pieces, taking over the planet with poetry, innovation, originality and passion. Ten albums with amazing journeys to the world of Björk. Here are the key dates of her amazing discography:
- Björk – in 1977
- Debut – in 1993
- Post – in 1995
- Homogenic – in 1997
- Vespertine – in 2001
- Medulla – in 2004
- Volta – in 2007
- Biophilia – in 2011
- Vulnicura – in 2015
- Utopia – in 2017
As we can see, since 1993, Björk was extremely constant in terms of albums releases. Most of them are iconic to the artist and marked the history of the music industry. Most of Björk work was motivated by love, the love of life and a certain positivism. Some of the albums were more positive than others, but always with a certain message of hope and love. Last album in date was Vulnicura, launched in 2015. Björk said the album expresses her feelings before and after her breakup with American contemporary artist Matthew Barney and the healing process. Vulnicura received widespread acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 87 out of 100, which indicates “universal acclaim” based on 40 reviews. Many critics have referred to it as her best work in the last decade and the boldest move after 2011’s Biophilia. It has also been compared stylistically to her critically acclaimed albums Homogenic and Vespertine.
Björk UTOPIA, nice but nothing new, therefore disappointing… a bit.
Two years later, Björk releases UTOPIA. As a Björk fan, the news of a new album from the artist was welcome with great joy. The album was released on November 24th this year and until then, many newspapers and magazines were quite positive about this album. Funny fact was the silence from all specialized press, especially once the album was out. After listening to it, we need to be honest: nothing really new in the horizon. Rolling stone magazine said it well, it is a very Björkian reverie. When listening to UTOPIA, it is impossible not to think in Verspertine or some songs of the first albums. Björk brings Björk. Nevertheless, she has always got a step further into her journey and this time she just stayed stuck 10 years ago.
With fourteen tracks in total, Utopia clocks in at 71 minutes and 38 seconds, making it the longest of Björk’s studio albums to date.
- Arisen My Senses
- Blissing Me
- The Gate
- Body Memory
- Features Creatures
- Sue Me
- Tabula Rasa
- Future Forever
The new Album was produced in collaboration with Venezuelan Electronic artist ARCA with whom she has already collaborated in Vulnicura.
“I obviously saw a gigantic musician in him, and I felt that he had gone into my world with such elegance and dignity and interpreted it, helped me (with) what was there, that I wanted to meet on a more equal basis. Of course it is my album for sure… but just as a pure musician, we decided to enter this other world and this other island which is the Arca/Björk overlap.” — Björk on her collaborative process with Arca on Utopia.
Björk UTOPIA, What now?
There is a positive feeling behind this album. Nevertheless we are missing Björk sharpness. Björk admits this Album is a sort of anti-Trump act but we would have expected something more striking and less in her comfort zone. Should she wait a bit longer before releasing each time a new album? When she won a Brit awards for Vulnicura, she was already recording the new one. By keeping such a production rhythm she might not leave enough time to creation. Unless we see Björk work as an ongoing state of creation, we are missing something in UTOPIA. Let’s hope the next one will be fantastic.
Info sourced in Rolling Stone magazine, New York Times, the Verve, L’Internaute and Wikipedia. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only.