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Hvarf / Heim

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 6, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2007 release from the Icelandic outift comprised of two EPs. Hvarf translates appropriately as "disappeared", as its five tracks are studio recordings of lost songs from various points in the band's career. Heim or "home" consists of six live acoustic versions of songs from all four Sigur Ros's studio albums recorded in Iceland during the band's summer 2006 tour and early spring 2007. Limited edition double CD digipak (first pressing only).

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In Icelandic, the word "hvarf" means "disappeared," and the first five tracks of Sigur Rós's double CD set nearly did disappear, having remained unreleased until this collection. Fans will love new opportunities to enjoy the band's precious style--precious save for "I Gaer," which starts out like a music-box and builds to dramatic, Pink Floyd-esque guitar-rawk proportions. The inclusion of two specific tracks, "Von" (meaning "hope") and "Hafsol," will especially delight longtime SR fans; written and recorded during the group's infancy in 1995, these tracks became treasured live performances, having never been captured on disc as their expanded, evolved versions until now. The disc's second portion, "Heim" ("home") is a six-song acoustic set that shows Sigur Rós in a less grandiose, more delicate light. The original versions of each were spread throughout SR's four previous releases, and all six were captured live-to-disc when the band performed a unique tour comprising surprise concerts in settings ranging from deserted fish factories to darkened caves. (The tour has been released separately as an endearing DVD, a companion to this collection entitled Heima.) While totally acoustic, the songs remain full-bodied, lush and lovely, especially the former underground hit "Ágætis byrjun" and "Heysátan," within which you’ll hear--if you listen closely--the sounds of chirping birds singing along with the orchestral instruments. --Denise Sheppard

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: XL Recordings
  • ASIN: B000W1USNG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,510 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Sonic awesomeness!Keep in mind folks, this is some of the music from the film Heima, a RETROSPECTIVE you knuckleheads. A couple new tunes. I think the 'electric' is better than the acoustic and I find I Gaer just incredible. I really don't understand the critique that the song is bombastic. It is soaring. Also remember, this band makes music THEY love. They don't make music for us. If we like it, great. If not, great.

Having been to Iceland, the music just fits the country. If you have not been, plan a trip sometime. Incredibly gorgeous but bring lots of money!!!

My favorite song is Hafsol. Bring tears to my eyes every time.

Enjoy! (or not :))
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is one of the most phenomenal pieces of music my ears have ever had the privilege of listening to. It is such a story of ups and downs and beauty and everything being right in the world. I don't think I have ever truly connected so well with melody such as this album. I truly like all of Sigur Ros' prior productions, but some of the songs on this album are truly breathtaking. I highly recommend this album, and if you've never experienced post-rock instrumental music before, download this album, find a good pair of earphones that sound amazing, and prepare yourself for quite the experience.
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Format: Audio CD
NPR's Bryant Park Project called their Oct. 5, 2007 interview with Sigur Rós "possibly the worst interview in the history of electronic media." Interviewer Luke Burbank lobbed the musicians unanswerable questions like "Did you think you would be the kind of band that sold two million records?" to which they would look at each other and eventually mumble a thinly veiled kiss-off. It was painful. But perhaps the band simply has as difficult a time talking about their music as we do. When so many of us listen to Sigur Rós, we try to describe it in terms of how it makes us feel, reaching higher and higher for adjectives that might explain its emotional power, but we can't do it. Sigur Rós is a spiritual experience at best--an angel laying its hands on you and flying you above the clouds toward an exalted place.

But if Sigur Rós has a weakness--and it's a significant one--it's that they've been providing this experience for us over and over again since 1999's Ágætis Byrjun. No other band sounded like them and few were as gorgeous, which legitimized their stagnation for nearly a decade. Hvarf/Heim marks the first time that this weakness seriously detracts from enjoying the music, despite how pretty it can be. It's a lovingly packaged album, full of regal melodies, stretched choirboy chants, sweeping orchestration and the occasional uplifting crescendo, like everything else in their oeuvre.

Granted, Hvarf/Heim isn't the ideal place for Sigur Rós to experiment. Not quite a proper album, this double-disc is part new material, part reinterpretations and part live recordings.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I'm not a huge fan of the band, but I do like some of their stuff, and I think they chose well for this compilation. The quality of the pressing is very good, and even the live-recorded portion is excellent---wouldn't have known it was live had it not been mentioned somewhere. Great for background music or setting a ... mood.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is worth the money regardless of the fact that it seems to be in length of a double EP. I have just recently found out about this amazing group just three weeks ago after hearing Glosoli and Svefn-G-Englar that a friend sent me in a bulletin. After that experience, I'm having a hard time listening to ANY other band. From what I have read, the two tracks I just mentioned that opened me up and blew me apart happen to be alot of fans favorites. So I went to the store to buy this(instead of TAKK or Agaetis Byrjun) thinking that if it was anything like what I've heard than I'll at least be up to date even though far behind with the classics. Well, I haven't stopped listening to it(Hvarf/Heim)yet and I am curently saving to buy ALL their music. This Album is so devastatingly good, I get dizzy every time I even think about it.
Both Cds are TOP NOTCH, the second being an Acoustic Live album that puts to shame all live albums I've ever heard before......Most everybody would never guess it's a live recording if it didn't say so in the sleeve (beautiful art to go with the music too!). AMAZING!!! Buy this now and if you're like me and just recently got into Sigur Ros, this is an EPIC place to begin!!! It will be sure to give you the NEED to go out and acquire all their other records. It leaves you wondering how in the world they could make SO MANY albums that supposingly compare to this (dont quite know yet,Hvarf/Heim is all I got so far).....to all new fans.....this is a sure-fire Winner, ya can't go wrong, and to Sigur Ros, you are the most beautifully haunting band I have ever heard...PEACE
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By Erik on December 7, 2007
Format: Audio CD
After the glorious "Takk," I was looking forward to yet another tour de force, but this double-disc is a poor follow-up.

First, the live CD sounds nearly identical to the studio recordings. Usually live CDs are more energetic, powerful, and longer versions of songs. Not so here. If anything, the songs are shorter and more subdued. Also, there's no sounds from the crowd cheering, or introductions of any sort from the band. While the sound quality is good, the experience was a let-down. The live disc is completely pointless if you already own the studio recordings.

Second, the EP contains only 4 unreleased songs, and, while they're good, they're not worth buying the whole set for. Pick them up as MP3s instead.
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