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You don't necessarily need written lyrics (or titles) for this intense experience. Just close your eyes, slip into this 72-minute slice of nirvana, and follow whatever feeling states draw to the surface as you listen. Like the icy-looking cover art, this music is the equivalent of a Winter night, and the thoughts and emotions that are conjured with it: cold, beautiful, dreamy, poignant, nocturnal, encircling, haunting and soothing. While the music is "cold," it isn't cold in an unemotional sense, as the album features nothing but overflowing emotion. The soundcapes are mellow, lush and elegant, while the instrumentation is generally used in ambient fashion, which allow certain atmospheres to be created more effectively. And added to this, the tracks are mostly extended, so the album is probably not recommended for listeners who want quick blasts of aggression, or who want short, catchy pop tunes.
As far as my personal interpretation of the album, or what it conjures through me? I see it as an album divided into two halves (which can also be equivalent to the two parentheses): The first four tracks comprising the "(" half seem like the equivalent of a lonely Winter night, featuring a long snow-capped landscape, and the stars shining at their brightest above.Read more ›
Comprised of eight tracks, each of which is untitled, the album is divided into two separate parts. The first four are what I consider to be the "dawn" or "awakening". Their ethereal presence, soft vocals, and dream-like melodies are often so subtle they seem to evaporate into thin air. It is this ability to make memorable music that doesn't stand out which marks the return of ambient music to its rightful place. As Brian Eno first did, Sigur Ros now continues the task of creating music that is heard but not listened to. Quite simply, these first four tracks are the soundtrack for our thoughts when we're not thinking.
If the first half of the album is the innocence, the last represents the "dusk" or dark side of our conscious. Though subtle in part, this half of the album carries listeners to the edge of their thoughts with elaborate builds and then, suddenly, sets them free with crashing crescendos, pulsating drums, and guitar work that continues where Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" left off. Not to slight the other members of the band, but it is in this half of the album that Jónsi's haunting vocals truly shine. So angelic yet emotional, his voice, his "words" are universal.Read more ›
'Agaetis Byrjun' was filled with bombastic string arrangements that soared and gave the songs real huge dimensions. This record is amazingly different, in a kind of way I personally thought Sigur Ros wouldn't venture. They've stripped down their sound, but at the same time drawn it into a tight sound that seems just as natural as their previous airy soundscapes. The new compactness relies on the intense percussion of their drummer and then the songs are built off that extremely strong foundation. All the familiar elements of the band are here, but used in new ways. Jonsi's otherworldly androgynous vocals return as does his "hopelandish" (his own self created language) lyrics, that aren't meant to have any literal meaning, but act as another instrument in the sound. When couple with his guitar playing with a bow, it can't be beat.
The record comes with no real title, just usually referred to by the apostrophe shaped cut outs on the albums slip cover. The songs, averaging about 9 minutes, are also untitled. Critics will like to rag on these as pretensions, but it couldn't be more untrue. Sigur Ros like to create, as they themselves call it, a fully interactive music. The listener is able to free their mind of any kind of pre-conceived concept and create their own meanings and lyrics.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is another amazing accomplishment by Sigur Ros. They're a band like no one else and can paint a picture with sounds like no one else. Read morePublished 4 months ago by AllUpInYoGrill
Very positive music. Great bibes, gives me great dreams when I fall asleep to it!Published 4 months ago by Wesley
Listen with an open mind and you will really enjoy this record. Victory Rose!Published 11 months ago by dogjawinc
Can't describe how amazing this album is in words!
Atmosphere and soundscape is amazing.
The best part is when my 5 year old son heard it he instantly fell in... Read more
Beautiful two part album. Slow and haunting, then emotionally charged aggression, shown with restraint. I don't know how much sense that makes. Read morePublished 14 months ago by August Schrock