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Valtari (LP+MP3)


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Music

Image of album by Sigur Rós

Photos

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Biography

The first few seconds of Kveikur begin with what might be the sound of a powerful yet distant conflagration, low flying fighter jets on a bombing mission, or a handheld recording of a large collapsing building; before slamming in with a colossally distorted bass note that says: as much as the first 20 seconds have been unsettling, something ominous and potentially cataclysmic is now ... Read more in Amazon's Sigur Rós Store

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (May 29, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: XL Recordings
  • ASIN: B007OWG3L2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,736 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Ég anda
2. Ekki múkk
3. Varúð
4. Rembihnútur
Disc: 2
1. Dauðalogn
2. Varðeldur
3. Valtari
4. Fjögur píanó

Editorial Reviews

In English Valtari translates as "steamroller" and there is something right about the title in terms of the process of its creation. The last three tracks of Valtari are like one long slow gorgeous fade out, as the listener, having been softened up by the slightly more "song-y" start to the album, is left with the subtly shifting, deep introspective beauty of the last 24 minutes. After that, penultimate track, Valtari is like the far heart of the album; eight minutes that feel like being alone in row boat on a chill day.

Customer Reviews

My first impression of the new album Valtari by Sigur Ros was underwhelming to say the least.
Paul D. Sandor
With Valtari, Sigur Ros has returned to the sometimes soft, sometimes loud, slowly progressing, and always beautiful music of their earlier albums like Takk... and ().
Christopher
Alternatively, for newbies of the band, I would recommend albums "( )" or "Takk..." as great starting points.
T. A. Daniel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Tyson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 29, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
It's been 4 years since the last Sigur Ros album and for a while fans wondered if we'd ever get to hear it. But since then we've received the fantastic live album Sigur Rós: Inni­ (Blu-Ray + 2 CD) and now, yet another masterpiece, Valtari. Like their previous albums, this is a hushed back, subtle-vocal work that transcends mind and genre. Listening to Sigur Ros is like experiencing a reverse hangover. It is peaceful, relaxing, imaginitive, inspiring..a journey. I really don't know how else to describe it.

It should also be noted that any Sigur Ros album is an ALBUM, meaning you should really listen to it from beginning to end, no skips or rewinds. It is a narrative of sorts, and should be experienced that way. That being said, I have to point out that Varúð and Fjögur píanó are two stand-out tracks worthy of the admission price alone. Varúð especially. That is one of the greatest songs I've heard in years. I love every song, but those are the stand-outs in my opinion.

OVERALL: If you're a longtime fan of Sigur Ros, prepared to be pleased. If you're just getting in on the game, Valtari is as great of a place to start as any. Newbies might also want to check out the song Saeglópur - it's another one of my favorites.

ENJOY! :)
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Paul D. Sandor on June 5, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My first impression of the new album Valtari by Sigur Ros was underwhelming to say the least. I fired myself up to write a three star review and complain about the sad decline of the once brilliant Icelandic band. After my first listen, I agreed with fans who described the music as pretty but uninspiring. This, coming from artists who invented a genre of emotional music as moving and innovative as any created.

I was determined to have the music on the new disc move me with the same impact I felt from Agaetis Byrjun,() and Takk. I kept anticipating the barren cold textures, the unexpected sweeping turns and finally, the breathtaking climaxes (the "I need a cigarette kind!") It never happened; what a disappointment.

Then something else happened...After an extremely tiring yet pleasurable surf session, I decided to try Valtari again. Exhausted, I closed my eyes and listened without expectations. By the second track, Ekki Mukk, I felt as if a door had been opened. Next, Varuo completely took me over (tears escaped my closed eyes.) I started seeing colors. I felt as if I was still in the Pacific riding waves. The music, just like surfing, had picked me up and moved me. In the ocean, one can not make a wave. When listening to Sigur Ros, the listener can't make the music move them.

My assessment: The first five tracks pour in, a liquid steamroller. Jonsi's vocals rise and fall like an ocean wave. The final three songs are mostly instrumental and lovely, almost like one merging outro. These last three, a sailboat riding the tide out and taking the listener to relative safety of the sea. The soft ending is welcome after the beauty and glory by the shore.

Please excuse the dramatic metaphors; I know it sounds pretentious. But every word and sound rings true for me. So please, long-time fans, give the record a chance; don't compare it to their storied past. Newbies: just get on board and enjoy the ride...
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Nse Ette TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 29, 2012
Format: Audio CD
"Valtari" is the latest Sigur Rós album, and it is their most laid-back to date comprising pastoral choral pieces. Listening to this is akin to floating on a calm ocean. Everything flows into the next, making this an album to be experienced as a whole, a far cry from lead vocalist Jónsi Birgisson's 2009 solo debut "Go" which was more upbeat and electronic.

Standouts include the tender piano/string "Varúð" with Jónsi's ethereal vocals juxtaposed against an ornate soundscape with strings and harmonies ascending to a skyscraping climax. Awesome and enthralling, my favourite. "Rembihnútur" is a gently ascending number with Jónsi coming in midway, while "Dauðalogn" is like a Hymn. Jónsi sings on the first 5 tracks, while "Varðeldur", "Valtari", and "Fjögur píanó" (the latter with delicately tinkling keys) are largely instrumental with Jónsi's harmonies adding instrumental tone on some.

The music is dense and requires time for everything to come into focus, but once it does, there's no letting go.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By the Differantiate on June 26, 2012
Format: Audio CD
It doesn't come as a surprise the critics didn't receive Valtari well. Its sound is too subtle to be picked apart fairly in a first impression. The only reason I gave the album as concerted effort as I did was because of my respect for the group and relief in their return to their classic style. Otherwise I would have only given it as much time as the critics did: enough to see that there's nothing new, no loud revelations, and only so much reflection on their past success. The four years aged their style past its peak of flavor, so to speak.

Unlike Agaetis Byrjun and Takk... there is no outright moment of conversion when the group's artistic style bows to its new prince. There's no single song on Valtari that can stand alone like Hjartað Hamast or Glósóli. You experience from song to song a steady widening that slowly inflates the boundaries of what they've built in the past. Adding nothing, Valtari spreads the old pieces around in a dark room waiting for the participant to fumble his way to them and lay his hands on them. I think this is what the New York Times' Jon Pereles, the most apt of the Valtari critics, meant when he wrote that "each of the new songs looms within a larger, obsessively detailed ambience . . . as if the band's old pure musical sanctuary has been overgrown and started to crumble, with different light and air glinting through the cracks," except that I don't agree the softening is really like the passage of time. This is just a positive spin on the critics' observation. To show this I'll merit his metaphor with an extension. The sanctuary was always overgrown and crumbling, but Agaetis and ( ) were so deep inside it you wouldn't know. Takk was really the first sight of washed out light seeping in. Valtari has tentatively emerged.
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