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Björk, Neil Young and Morrissey with the new and noteworthy 

Björk, Utopia
  • Björk, Utopia

Björk, Utopia (One Little Indian) –
Björk intended her new album to represent bliss, after the heartbreak of divorce exemplified in Vulnicura. The orchestrations and found sounds work best in longer tracks like “body memory,” and her mystical meanderings become explicit and immediate in the song “tabula rasa,” which could have been her response to the #MeToo movement. But in the shorter conventional songs, the orchestra can sound like a Bambi-era Disney soundtrack, which may not have been what Björk intended.

Neil Young & Promise of the Real, The Visitor
  • Neil Young & Promise of the Real, The Visitor

Neil Young & Promise of the Real, The Visitor (Reprise) – And you thought the December 2016 year-capper Peace Trail was political? Young outdoes himself here, with an album that calls out Trump supporters even more than the president himself. As with any Young album, there are a couple silly misfires, but this may stand as the most topical and political album of his career.

Morrissey, Low in High School
  • Morrissey, Low in High School
Morrissey, Low in High School (BMG) – The former Smiths vocalist proves he knows planetary affairs from Venezuela to Brexit better than 90 percent of musicians, and the arrangements on this album sound almost as good as the 2015 World Peace Is None of Your Business album. Morrissey’s politics are mostly in the right place, but his attitude is as aggravating as his concert cancellations. If he really thinks humans are irredeemable and silly, why does he bother to write more songs to tell us so?

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