- Audio CD (10 Jun 2003)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Single, CD+DVD, Colour, DVD-Video, Maxi, Import
- Label: Fat Cat
- ASIN: B00008Y4E8
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 435,217 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. Track 1|
|2. Track 2|
|3. Track 3|
|4. Track 4|
Though a little late to release Untitled 1 now, it's really a case of better late than never and more. Untitled 1 is the haunting opener on ( ) which by all means is a threatrical masterpiece with all the right highs and lows packed into several minutes. The chilling vocals serve to heighten the lushcious mood of the song. Elsewhere on the single, you'll find the excellent but preiously unreleases Untitled 9A - C tracks. Essentially it becomes a seamless continuation of Untitled 1 and fulfills the listener's appetite thoroughly...
Of course, the bonus here are the 3 videos on the DVD. Watching them, I have only one thing to say: the videos for Svefn g englar, Vidrar vel til loftarasa and Untitled 1 are simply breathtaking and the perfect visual companion to the music.
This CD/DVD single is something anyone who loves Sigur Ros should grab!
This can largely be attributed to the delays that are associated with international releases (see Pulp's "We Love Life"), but regardless of the reasons, "Sigur 1/Sigur 9" is worth the wait.
"Untitled 1" is basically unchanged from its original album version (found on 2002's "( )"), but like most Sigur Ros material, is consistently listenable and re-listenable; its precious vocals from vocalist Jon Thor Birgisson and mixture of icy vocal samples and warm keyboards are engrossing, even if the song has no explicit meaning (or for that matter, language).
Even more captivating is the b-side, known on the street as "Smaskifa," which began as a reworked version of "Untitled 1" but became its own song. Sigur Ros's trademark sampled vocal gurglings cascade across the stereo field with haunting pace, giving way to an almost cathedral-esque performance by Birgisson. This all gives way to what sounds like a squirrel giving an incantation (I'm not kidding), to a more meditative piano progression, composed by the band's drummer, Orri Pall Dyrason, that recalls some of Eno's ambient works.
The b-side ends with a minimalist, looped interval of strings. This portion of the single will likely draw the most criticism, as, even for a band that prides itself on using meditative pace, it is a bit simplistic. Nonetheless, the beauty of the song as a whole is enough of a reason to purchase the single.
But there is another reason, and that is the three-track DVD, which includes videos for "Svefn-g-englar," "Vidrar vel til Loftarasa" (both from 1999's "Agaetis Byrjun") and "Untitled 1." The first two videos are sweeping in their imagery, using the crags and expanses of Iceland as their background. "Untitled 1," on the other hand, could be construed as having a more political edge (considering the time period in which it was released). The video is effective in its depiction of the world our children could conceivably inherit.
"Sigur 1/Sigur 9" may not be a treasure trove of rarities, but there's enough stirring power on this 20-minute disc that listeners can cope with its shortcomings. And that's a testament to the impact Sigur Ros has in today's music.
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