Thursday, July 3, 2008

Album Review - Sigur Rós

Sigur Rós – Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
[EMI/XL Recordings; 24/06/2008]

The term unique and the band Sigur Rós fit like a glove. Maybe – just maybe - singing in your own language (Hopelandic) has a bit to do with it. When you wade through all the bullshit, though, Iceland's finest band are just that; a band. In fact, a “rock” band wouldn't even look out of place when weighing up a definition.

Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust is Sigur Rós fifth album, which once again meanders through new stomping grounds. This time there's a swerve from their previous left-field sensibility to more of a left-of-centre chime. It's hardly surprising considering the number of people who listen to Sigur Rós' music has increased, particularly since the landmark ( ).

'Gobbledigook' is the perfect opener. With an organic strum of acoustic and the pitta-patter of the snare drum, an easy-listening quality looms, despite its raw edge. 'Inn Í Mér Syngur Vitleysingur' is laced with more familiar elements that we've come to appreciate from Sigur Rós, but this time glazed with more of an accessible taste. The epic 'Festival' builds up with octave shifts from Jónsi Birgisson's ranging falsetto right up until the melodic bind of bass and brass culminates the song in emphatic fashion. 'Ára Bátur' searches for its quarry, with its slowing pace capturing a form of beatification without the trademark melody; definitely a growing quality.

Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust is Sigur Rós at their accessibly charged best. Although starting off as strong as any other recording from their fine back catalogue of work, Með' does fade into the shadows late on, giving you the impression that the hard work of transforming their sound may have taken its toll during the course of making this album. Ironically, rather than throwing a couple of the later tracks into the fray earlier on during the record, it seems a segregation from strong to weak has inadvertently taken place. In saying this, 'Gobbledigook' didn't grab a lot of people – including myself- on first listen, so maybe with a bit more time opinions could sway the other way. The door remains slightly ajar.

By Simon K

No comments: