INNI CD+DVD, Box set
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Inni is either the first-ever Sigur Rós live album, or second live film (and follow up to 2007's acclaimed tour film Heima). in fact, it is both: a 75-minute film and 105-minute double live album of the band captured in full flow at the close of their last tour in November 2008. Filmed at Alexandra Palace over two nights by director Vincent Morisset the film strips away everything save the raw performance of the four musicians themselves.
Originally filmed on HD digital, Inni was first transferred to 16mm film and then projected and re-filmed once, sometimes through glass and other objects to give a strong impressionistic look, a feat accomplished with the help of Godspeed You! Black Emperor visual collaborator Karl Lemieux. The film was then meticulously pieced together by Heima editor Nick Fenton, who chose to break up the flow with unexplained archive footage, including interview and concert material from before the band's exposure to the wider world at the tail end of the last century.
Releasing a Greatest Hits album doesn’t seem very Sigur Rós, so this live album will have to do. Since the Icelanders haven’t released a new album since 2008 (and the follow-up to Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust was scrapped before it was finished), Inni is also a welcome stopgap, if not the album fans wanted. Inni (‘Inside’) contains tracks from each of their albums, and comes with 75 minutes of concert footage (no frills; no audience even) from London’s Alexandra Palace in November 2008. The double-CD from the same two shows encompasses 105 minutes, enough for about five of their songs. Only kidding. There are 15 tracks in total, but Sigur Rós songs are the aural equivalent of the slow food club, each taste to be savoured and endured so that every classical, folk, ambient, rock and post-rock flavour can be absorbed. If rock’n’roll is the new food, Jónsi and company could win Masterchef every time.
But there’s something about live albums that falls short of the main event. Sigur Rós are an extraordinary live band; it’s those flavours, with backlighting and blended visuals, and Jónsi’s presence, the way he draws that violin bow across his guitar and gets lost in sound, and the way all four of them are bathed in the intensity of their performance. This is all lacking when you hear Inni in the cold light of day/dusk/night. The way the frontman stretches for those high fragile notes in Glósóli would be much better with the visual aid (it’s not on the film). And pictured or not, this version of Hoppípolla – after all its exposure on TV and film – isn’t expansive enough.
But this is still Sigur Rós, and free of the orchestral addendums of other live tours, and unshackled from the studio finesse, the band ignites on several occasions, when they grasp the epic strands of their DNA. Svefn-g-englar is already the slowest and dreamiest storming-of-the-barricades you’re ever likely to hear, but here it’s even bigger. Similarly, Ný batterí is gifted a brutal power here that you rarely hear on their albums. E-Bow – aka Untitled #6 from ( ) – is the sound of shearing glaciers and this version sears. Festival is equally hair-raising, but Popplagið – aka Untitled #8 from ( ) – is the killer blow, 15 minutes of the highest drama. And you can see every one of those four killers on the film. The one brand new track, the closing Lúppulagið, is six minutes of elegant piano ambience that comprises either an anti-climax or the calm after the storm. Watching this on film won’t make it better, however. But at least you have the choice. --Martin Aston
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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! Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jacek Dyminski
i am now in love with Sigur Ros
a bit late I admit
seeing them March 2nd Glasgow
INNI Sigur Ros
Good value, but a bit disappointing in that it lacks the bands usual delicacy, perhaps live recordings are always like this - emphasis on the louder noisy... Read more
Yes... the audio of the CDs is great, but for the live DVD is too much close up for members of the band. Read morePublished on 12 Jan. 2012 by Parasiteque
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... Read morePublished on 4 Dec. 2011 by Richard Toner
The bottom line is that the sheer amount of excellent music (and film) on offer here constitutes great value for newcomers and afficionados alike. Read morePublished on 22 Nov. 2011 by degrant
Captures the exceptional live music of Sigur Ros. An absolutely unbelievable and amazing album. A must buy for any serious music fan.Published on 16 Nov. 2011 by Crispy