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Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practically perfect, 17 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Meš suš ķ eyrum viš spilum endalaust (Audio CD)
I was so cautious about this album, surely Sigur Ros couldn't top their previous LP 'Takk', which has spent more time on repeat in my CD player and iPod over the last 2 years than I care to remember - I even bough 3 copies in total (one for home, one for the car, one special edition to treasure)... But the unthinkable has happened!!!

So what is the album like? We firstly, if you liked previous tracks like Hoppipolla, Hljomalind or Agaetis Byrjun then you'll love it. Scratch that, if you like any of Sigur Ros' back catalogue then you'll love it - the album is a logical progression from previous works without abandoning all that we love about them. Almost all tracks will connect with the listener on first listen, and even those that feel they could be forgetable have a knack for sounding oh-so-familiar 2nd time around. However the album is notably shorter than other albums in their repetoire, at just under 1 hour, the album only includes 1 'epic' Sigur Ros track ('epic' like the ( ) album).

Gobbledigook, the album's opening track is a tricky one. It's raucus and youthful, and probably the most surprising track by the band so far - and an odd choice to open with. The timing unfortunatley really gets in the way of this track being 'sing-along-able', no matter how many times you listen to it. However it doesn't stop the listener from enjoying it from a voyeurs point of view (ie not part of it) and it does do a really good job of getting the album off to a blinding start.

It seems that 2nd track Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur is this year's Hoppipolla, and is destined to appear on the more sophisticated sporting event round-up VT, or even another advert for a David Attenborough nature show (!) And although at the end of track 2 you might find yourself thinking 'can the album get any better than this?', listen on!

Gotan Daginn is a mellow affair, in the vein of Agaetis Byrjun or Heima - a good track to watch the world go by in front of you. It has it's cute moments but it will surprise you at how quickly the song goes by. Vid Spilum Endalaust takes the listener back into Hoppipolla territory, which is a nice surprise to hear 2 of this kind of track on the album together!

Track 5 (Festival), although fairly long-winded (do not read 'epic') has by far the most catchy melody of the whole album, or even arguably their entire back catalgue. The first 4 minutes or so of Jonsi's solitary singing acts as a brilliant palette-cleanser prior to the album's 2nd half starting from the major breakdown in Festival... Think Glosoli but less progressive... the whistling at the end will YOU by the end of the album!

The album's 2nd half is a more subdued affair (do not read 'boring'), with the last beat-y track being the lush 'Sud i Eyrum' (track 6 - which leaves another 5 tracks relitively drum free). Ara Batur is similar in structure to Festival, yet it seems to flow-in better from previous tracks - there isn't such a stark contrast between it's neighbouring songs. The song itself is one of Sigur Ros' most sensitive works, Jonsi's vocals seem so fragile at times, yet perfectly beautiful. The track swells into a full orchestral and choir affair worthy of a classy and poignant end-credits for an intelligent blockbuster.

The remianing 4 tracks are quite a surprise to the listener, they seem to get more and more stripped down as they go, with my personal favourite Fljotavik. The tracks themselves are lowkey strings, vocals, and the odd piano or acoustic guitar. These tracks seem heavility influenced by their Heima Tour of 2007 as they seem a lot more intimate in terms of performance; they have an almost 'live' feel.

The closing track, All Alright, could have worked well as a secret track, with the final restrains of Straumnes (a coda to Fljotavik) most listeners would expect the album to have reached it's natural cadence and ended there, but the final track strips the album down to its bare minimum. Jonsi's vocals are so fargile they sound almost like they were sung in his sleep. Aparrently the lyrics are in english, although they are so murmered that they could be Hopelandic to most listeners.

If Takk was an album themed upon nature then Med Sud i Eyerum... is themed upon the memories of nature; the sound seems less a first-hand experience of nature and more third-hand in it's translation, although there are some distictly lush moments to remind us of the elemental backbone that Sigur Ros are all about. But like nature, the album isn't perfect; perhaps top heavy, perhaps not - it will depend on the listeners prefernce, although I imagine first time listeners to Sigur Ros will be ending their albums after track 7... listen on an you will be rewarded.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Nov 2008 21:48:59 GMT
nearly perfect, 4 stars? isnt that a little stingey?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2009 19:39:50 GMT
J. Morris says:
I tend to agree with Iain. This is a near perfect album, and 5 stars is the only fair way to judge it. If we were dealing with a 100 scale, you could put 95, but that would still be 5 stars.

Regardless, this is a brilliant review and quite accurate in my opinion (apart from the stars!!!).
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