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Rock Criticism with Jonathan Lethem, Mavis Staples & Björk

UtopiaUtopia available on iTunes

Björk Utopia

Björk has been on top of the world of pop and experimental music for decades, yet she's still regarded as an independent, avant-garde, cult artist. But Jim says that her new album, Utopia, gave him no joy for the first time in her career. He calls her collaboration with Venezuelan electronic artist Arca a collection of tuneless, wandering dirges filled with flutes and bird sounds. Although he's always loved Björk, Jim says the album is a Trash It. Greg concedes that Utopia is hard to pin down and lacks the pop accessibility of her previous work. But he gets lost in Björk's world, a combination of avant-garde classical influences that evokes the soundscapes of the Icelandic wilderness. Greg cites her recent albums in this vein as the inspiration for a new generation of artists like FKA Twigs and Solange. It took him a while to figure it out, but Greg feels Utopia is a Buy It.