Bjork’s Utopia was one of the most acclaimed records of 2017, but not by me. Nobody has been stopping me on the street to ask why I didn’t love the new Bjork album, but here it is anyway: too many birdsong sound effects and woodwinds. Yes, I know I was just saying that I’m in favor of woodwinds and want to hear more of them in general, but a word to the wise, woodwinds should never be combined with birdsong sound effects lest you summon the vengeful spirit of Enya. When I put on a Bjork album, I don’t want to hear Music for Yoga Studios. Bjork is nothing if not an edgy artist, and if anybody can make it work with the nature sounds and overall spirit of optimism, it is she. But if her last record – which I adored – was the Big Breakup Album of her career, this is her Buck Up Sister and Put Yourself Back Out There album, and I’m happy for her that she’s gotten herself to that point. You’re still young, Bjork, you’ve got so much to offer and I promise you, you’ll find love again, with someone who truly deserves and appreciates you. Now get back to making music that’s dark and discomfiting.

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