It's difficult to discuss Sigur Ros albums in any depth. Firstly, even though each of their albums has its own character, and a Sigur Ros song is still instantly recognisable - what with the band's stately cinematic sound and Jonsi's unique voice - they're all kind of similar-sounding. Secondly, it's impossible to go into the meaning of the lyrics since they're all in Icelandic or Hopelandic.
varies most substantially from its predecessor by dispensing with the orchestrations, and relying solely on the band themselves. But even without orchestration, Sigur Ros still have a large cinematic sound, thanks to Jonsi's ambient yet imposingly large guitar style. Yet despite the grandiosity of their sound, losing the strings does take away some of the musical colour, and ()
has less of the melodic fluidity of Aegetis Byrnjun
, instead presenting a darker and more textural side to the band.
The result is there's less happening in the mix, so ()
can seem more monotonous than Aegetis Byrnjun
in places. But by and large it's another stellar set from the band, even if it does take longer to uncover its secrets - there's an elegant grace to the way the band's pieces ebb and flow, and a tangible beauty.
is divided into two halves, with a clear gap between the two sides, and in general the first half is more accessible than the second. The first two songs are more in the vein of Aegetis Byrnjun
, while the two subsequent tracks take a more direct approach - the mesmerising piano arpeggios of "Samskeyti" are simple yet effective, while "Njósnavélin" mixes in a beautiful stately guitar progression with keyboard breaks reminiscent of Yes.
The toughest going is around "E-bow" and "Dauôalagiô", lengthy tracks that are built around Sigur Ros' less pre-possessing melodies - the latter is little more than a series of crescendos around a droning Jonsi vocal that's surprisingly grating along with a vocal melody that's surprisingly repetitive. "Popplagiô" then restores the beauty with a typically elegant melody.
is a difficult record after the easily approachable beauty of Aegetis Byrnjun
, but it has plenty of moments of transcendent gorgeousness, and if you loved Aegetis Byrnjun
you'll want to want to hear this one too.Rated:
by Reviewer: Fyfeopedia
(blogging at Fyfeopedia [Defunct]