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  • INNI
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4.6 out of 5 stars16
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 9 November 2011
This double CD and DVD (or Blu-Ray) set features highlights from 2 live performances at London's Alexandra Palace in 2008. The 2 CDs carry 15 songs whilst the film features 9 tracks and some sometimes incongruous footage of the band including TV and radio performances and playing at tiny cramped clubs (a nice contrast to the cavernous Ally Pally).

Anyone who enjoyed the wonderful Heima DVD and the accompanying Hvarf/Heim CD will have seen a softer more acoustic side of Sigur Ros; quiet music in sublime and isolated locations across Iceland. The sound on those performances was often augmented by the band's touring string and brass sections making for a fuller but generally subtle sound. This album is different : it features the original 4 members of the band playing a very loud rock show and whilst there is subtlety (Sigur Ros would not be Sigur Ros without Kjatan Sveinsson's wonderful, melodic piano patterns) the abiding impression of this album is of the walls of sound created by Jonsi Por Birgisson's bowed guitar. This bowing technique allows Birgisson to create a seamless and constant sound much larger than that possible when the guitar is strummed and consequently the recordings give the impression that many more than 4 musicians are playing.

Another abiding impression of the album is that it does not appear to be over-dubbed in any way so what we hear is what the crowd would have heard at the concerts. It even seems to these ears that the producers of the album have elected to leave the mistakes in and there are a couple of quite glaring ones and a number of occassions when the band are slightly out of time. This is not in any way a criticism : this is music in the raw and as close to a live experience (warts and all) as i've ever heard on CD.

The film accompanying this set is shot in stark, grainy monochrome and is probably quite unlike any concert footage most viewers will have seen. The camera lingers on particular details - the bow moving across Jonsi's guitar strings (while Jonsi is singing) where most directors would have focussed on his face. Similarly we see Ori Pall Dyrason's bass drum and hi-hat pedals being unceremonoiously stomped on by Icelandic size 8s, we see tiny details of the band's clothing (Jonsi seems to be wearing a feather boa which the director is clearly fascinated by). It's not easy to watch and you might do well to get through it in one sitting but it is never less than exhillerating with the music louder and more abrasive than those who have only heard Sigur Ros on CD will be used to.

Thoroughly recommended but don't expect a repeat of Heima.
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on 11 November 2011
What can i say about inni that you havent read in reviews already. All those who have seen sigur ros live are very lucky indeed. The band are on fire here and the record is excellent. Highlights for me are e-bow {untitled 6 off () } and the 15 minute long Popplagio {untitled 8 off () } the live versions here are breathtaking.

Hopefully we will be lucky enough to see a new album sooner rather than later but in the meantime this should keep sigur ros fans happy.
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on 21 November 2011
These songs,preformed live, obviously have different acoustics,tempi and effects (and apply the volume control if listening on head-phones!). The vocals can seem hesitant and tentative, lacking some of the impact,emotion and drama of the studio versions. Ny batteri lacks its erotic tone and this Festival(first half) fails to establish the direct,emotional connection between singer and listener. However, it probably has the longest held high note ever sung!Although these songs are not generally superior to earlier recordings, I do like the tempo and liberated,soaring,echoing vocals of Ny batteri, these re-appearing later in Popplagid. There are also spirited and beautiful renderings of Hoppipolla and Hafsol. Still mournful and haunting are E-bow and All right(although you still can't decipher the words!)which has a strong piano accompaniment from Kjartan. Again,in Luppulagid, the piano is prominent,played like slowly dripping icicles - and without applause. It provides a calm ending after the crescendos of Popplagid.....The musical imperfections are less apparent when viewing the film. This is in black and white,with close-in,foggy,out of focus shots of the band and is not altogether captivating. You long to see Orri's footwear and crown or Jonsi's facepaint in glorious colour. The effects of the volcanic eruption in Pooplagid are rather lost in this medium. However, it's still worth getting the DVD for the shots(in watery colour!)of the band when they were much younger and which prefix four of the songs. I hope this rather funereal offering does not portend the demise of Sigur Ros. If the next film is in sepia I shall assume the worst.
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on 7 November 2011
Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! Granted, its not the new studio album we would all want but then again when has anyone truly been disappointed by anything this most singularly unique of bands has given us? Five star guaranteed!
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on 22 November 2011
The bottom line is that the sheer amount of excellent music (and film) on offer here constitutes great value for newcomers and afficionados alike. Nonethless, there is a slight sense of marking time to this release of live performances exactly 3 years ago (unsurprisingly, the older albums are less well-represented than the newer ones) compounded by the lack of new material (only closing song "lúppulagið" is not on previous releases) and the general fidelity to studio recordings. Perhaps Sigur Ros are drawing a line under the work and are about to go grime? In any event, when you have staggering songs like "svefn-g-englar", "popplagið" and countless others to perform, you can be forgiven for airing them.

Sigur Ros's music, while brilliant on its own, is enhanced by visuals and this is why I think the film (in a different order from the cds and with interludes between the actual performance including one hilarious moment when they are ejected from a hotel piano bar) works better than the live concert per se. Seeing the musicians breakway and regroup before the onslaught of "sæglópur" is spell-binding despite havinh heard it 50 times before. The film is suitably atmospheric, in turn film noirish and like Soviet 1920 propaganda films.

All in all, highly recommended.
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on 21 January 2015
I have had this album + dvd for a while but only ever watched the dvd a couple of times before putting it away. I've just listened to the CDs properly for the first time and Sigur Ros (whom I've seen live) are on absolutely spellbinding form. I agree that this is Sigur Ros as a full-on amplified rock band but what an extraordinary sound they make - just listen to Hafsol: it is so poised it's hard to believe it's live (I've just listened to it eight times in a row). I've come to realise what an astonishing album this is - prog rock if you like but leaving the likes of Floyd completely in the shade. This has just become my favourite Sigur Ros album and I've got them all.
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on 7 September 2014
I was lucky enough to be there!!! What can I say? It brought memories from the past. Absolutely great concert, one of the best I ever seen, believe me I have seen a lot!
One thing I remember very well was silence between songs....nobody was talking, everybody was just listening and waiting for next song. Also venue: Alexandria Palace what a perfect choice!
People! Buy it with DVD option, it will show you different Sigur Ros, which you have newer seen before, you will not be disappointed.

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on 4 February 2015
Sigur Ros at their very best. A must for all SR fans. If you have not listened to them before then this is probable the nest album for your introduction to SR sound. The DVD of the live concert is also beautifully filmed. It is not you usual concert film, but what would you expect from SR. Very much film noir footage, arty and suits the music.
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on 12 January 2012
Yes... the audio of the CDs is great, but for the live DVD is too much close up for members of the band.
I expect there is more full stage scenes to make me feel that i'm in the concert.. Too much close up make me feel like i'm just seen a video clip
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on 4 December 2011
Watching INNI is like being reacquainted with one of your closest friends, one that you have shared the most intimate and personal moments with and one that you did not realise had left a gaping hole in your heart when they had disappeared with no explanation or reason. INNI marks the return of the peerless musical force that is Sigur Rós, and it does so in the only fashion that Sigur Rós know, and that is going against every convention and expectation.

INNI is all about taking you inside the world of Sigur Rós and places you within touching distance of every hammer, string and hair that are the driving force behind their breathtaking shows at Alexandra Palace in November 2008. I was lucky enough to experience one of those shows in person, but it is impossible to compare the two experiences.

INNI is intensely personal and almost entirely strips away any visual awareness of a crowd and any sense of place. One of the multiple highlights lies in the extras, during a beautiful rendition of "All Alright", where Jónsi Birgisson looks at his most vulnerable as he shuts his eyes to take himself to a place far from the audience and his hands twitch as if he is almost reaching out for an instrument to hide behind. It is one of the most humanising moments of the movie, and it can only complement the main feature that this masterful performance failed to make the cut.

If for any reason you have yet to be acquainted with Sigur Rós, this is the perfect place to start. There is no better way to summarise the work of Sigur Rós or the majesty of INNI than the interview that follows the opening credits where the interviewer asks: "Did you start out playing this kind of music? Or did you start out as a more... people might think 'regular' sounding band and then did you go here as you experimented?". The question can only be met with silence and a stifled laugh. Who needs regularity anyway?
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