Essential New Music: Björk’s “Utopia”

The challenge of following up the heartbreak of 2015’s Vulnicura with the spiritually renewed Utopia sounds effortless in the nimble hands of Björk. Artists as grand as Bob Dylan and Marvin Gaye have penned devastatingly profound breakup recordings long before Björk, but only she has contrived an equally ebullient, brainy and romantic follow-up—as dedicated in its love to gods and goddesses as it is to tenderness and carnality. Co-written and co-produced (again) with electronics-beats whiz Arca, the whole of Utopia—from the glacial and harp-strummed “Blissing Me” to icy epic “Body Memory” to the Gil Evans-esque “The Gate”—flutters and wows as it wraps itself in a serene and satisfied longing that gently comes to requited fruition with end tracks “Saint” and “​Future Forever.” Utopia is the perfect whooshing winter record, just in time for the bitter chill.

—A.D. Amorosi