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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 3 August 2006
Beatiful. Majestic. Awe-inspiring. These are just a few of the words which can be used to describe this LP. This band immerse themselves totally in their surroundings - the beautiful landscapes of Iceland - and use it as their inspiration.

every other review of this album is spot on, so I won't make this any longer than it needs to be. One of the most interesting things that I find when I read other people's reviews is the variation in "favourite" tracks. Svefn-g-englar seems a popular choice, but the beauty of this album is that everyone sees something different in it. I've heard people say that their personal favourites are the title track, Svsfn-g-englar, Olsen Olsen, Ny Batteri... in fact, I've heard different people citing pretty much every track on the album as a highlight (except maybe the intro, for obvious reasons). My personal favourite is Staralfur, with its sweeping strings and haunting acoustic guitar.

In my opinion, the strongest Sigur Ros album - slightly edging out () and Takk...

Incidentally, people who look at my other reviews may notice that there are a great many 4 star ratings but only one 5 star rating - this one. I tend to only review albums that i like, but i try and avoid the two extremes - 1 star or 5 stars. i try to be objective with my reviews, so, believe me, if i think an album is deserving of 5 stars then take it as red that i wholeheartedly think that album is utter brilliance.

Buy it now.
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on 29 July 2002
Agaetis Byrjun is most possibly the most amazing album I have ever heard. Every track makes you tingle with emotion, and the purity and beauty of the wall of noise created will blow you away.
This album is the perfect mix of raw, violin- bow enhanced guitar, mind blowing vocals and a plethora of crazed, beautiful sounds. Culminating in a perfect state of blissful energy.
If your a fan of the more experimental radiohead or simply a person who enjoys beautiful music you should not be without this album. Listen to Svefn-G-Englar (track 2) and let your mind drift away into a blissful state of pure ecstasy.
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on 6 July 2003
i dont understand what he's singing
i dont know what instrument is playing....
but i've never known any music like this....
i thought radiohead were experimental... until i heard this iceland gem....
i'm blow away to the point where i cant move when this cd plays, every note goes through my body like a bullet, i'm humbled by the vast knowledge that this group can offer just by one track.
this cd breaks me and manages to rebuild me inside out
and i may sound dramatic, i may be hyping up this album alot...
understand i dont usually buy male artists, i gave up on male frounted groups (with the exception of grandaddy, spaklehorse and radiohead...) but my god this blew me away,
his voice is at times almost an instrument of it's own,
i recomend this cd to any music lover, to anyone who is open to interpatation and has an imagination...
get lost in this cd
and then track down those other equally amazing haunting albums...
like mini films in your mind this cd washes over me leaving tiny lil shellfish in my soul
i love it!
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on 27 April 2001
Having been a fan of Sigur Ros for over a year now I feel that I have only just gained the right to review their album. From the word go this album is inspirational. Iceland does not know how lucky it is. Jonsi's singing is at worst brilliant and at best simply majestic. Sigur Ros are pioneers of music using cello bows to play their guitars, drumsticks to play a bass guitar and even have their own mini orchestra. I have heard their music described as "Icelandic landscaping" ; an apt desciption. Calm, melancholic and atmospheric followed by sudden eruptions of sound comparable to an exloding geyser. Olsen Olsen and Vidar vel til loftarasa could become anthems of our time and on a rainy sunday afternoon there is nothing like listening to the sonar sounds in staralfur. Well done Iceland, well done Sigur Ros ; the music world salutes you.
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on 3 May 2006
For some reason people call this an album. It's really a story, an unpredictable story (for the first time you listen to it anyway) that takes you to a lot of strange and wonderful places. Sigur Ros only properly came into the public eye in the UK when they released Takk..., and if that's the only SR you've heard then Ágætis Byrjun may surprise you. It's as dark compared to Takk as the deep blue of the album cover suggests and singer Jonsi's vocals are nowhere near as falsetto as on Takk. There are two ways to listen to this, either get it on your car's CD player when driving through the Icelandic countryside in winter or just stick it on your headphones whilst lying in bed with the lights off. Apart from Olsen Olsen, all the songs have actual Icelandic lyrics, which the whole of () and a fair bit of Takk do not, but if you don't understand Icelandic you can still make up what it all means as you listen just the same, that's probably the best way.
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on 30 July 2001
A friend recommended this unpronouncable album to me, knowing I had a taste for atmospheric, ambient, semi-orchestral/semi-electronic, spine-tingling music. And I wasn't disappointed. This has got to be one of the finest musical creations I've ever come across. I'm not good with the Icelandic track names, but for me tracks 2, 3 and 7 are the most divine, stopping me totally in my tracks and making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on end. I understand the lyrics are in an invented language called "Hopelandic" (rather like the gobbledigook the Cocteau Twins used to sing), and this just adds to the mystery of the thing. But for this reason, and the lead singer's unusual high-pitched voice, it's an acquired taste (my wife certainly doesn't approve)! I was fortunate enough to see Sigur Ros live when they supported Radiohead in Oxford in early July 2001, and this just reinforced their credentials. To summarise: THIS ALBUM IS ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!
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on 19 December 2005
I have been listening to this album for about 3 years now, and I still can't get enough of it. It has an amazing magical, mystical, floating quality which sends you cruising over deep fjords, icy mountains and eery barren volcanic landscapes. I love the fact that I can't understand what the lyrics are about; you can just let it all wash over you and give it your own meaning, should you choose to. I just found the translations of the lyrics tonight on the net: they are very interesting and poetic. Icelandic (or Hopelandic!) is a beautiful-sounding language, ideal for singing in.
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on 29 March 2013
I first came across Sigur Ros during my 3rd or 4th visit to Iceland (can't remember which) back in 2001, when I wandered into Reykjavik record shop and asked the assistant to recommend some Icelandic music to take home. When I first heard this I admit that I wasn't sure, but then I got to the track Olsen Olsen, with those soaring falsetto vocals, and this persuaded me to listen again. By the third listen I was hooked, and I have not looked back.

This is quite possibly the most profoundly spiritual music I have ever heard, with all of its different moods, sometimes dark, sometimes tender, sometimes uplifting, and frequently for me all at the same time, reflecting the Icelandic psyche and indeed the Icelandic landscape itself in all its glory. I guess you would have to travel to Iceland to really grasp and appreciate this. So much though can be heard and read into this music - it is best listened to I find in the dark with your eyes closed to shut out the distractions, and let the music simply speak for itself directly to your own heart and your own soul, for this music if it is allowed to speak and show itself, has a soul all of its own. So much can be heard within its keys, the Icelandic landscape for sure with all of its contrasts, but also the human condition itself. Perhaps that is part of its appeal, for one can hear whatever ones wants to hear.
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on 27 September 2000
The problem with reviews is that you rant on about how much you love an album, but the sheer detachment of writing, from the actual music is too much of a gulf to entice the would-be-buyer. I've found myself ignoring CDs all over Amazon because of this.
But this really is different. Through the music of Agaetis Byrjun, you picture huge mountains iced and capped with snow. Moonlight glistens everything into a world of cystalline beauty. And there's chaos too. Once you've settled into the drifting beauty of the album, Ny Batteri suddenly explodes into an eruption of drums, the vocals exquisitely raw and yet maintaining a poised level of total - a word this album always addresses - beauty.
I've seen them live in Newport. I won't easily forget shutting my eyes, whilst Svefn-g-Englar vibrated through the air towards me. No lyrics are distinguishable to us English speakers, but still, on track 3, it does sound like he's singing "Blow north, dear." You get to be inventive; even make up your own lyrics! Excitement.
Winter's setting in. It'd make an absolutely class soundtrack for December. Consider it at least.
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on 17 April 2003
Think of the place u love the most. The place u would willingly spend the rest of your life at. The peace that surrounds and engulfs you. A place where time has no meaning. 5 minutes seems like a life time.Where your worries fade away, and all that is, is now and the moment.Where a smile seems to come over your face without you realising it. The view, the sounds, the air you breath, everything is worth dying for.A hot lazy summers afternoon.If you can imagine this then welcome to the world of Sigur Ros.A mind blowing CD. How can music FEEL this good? Serendipity at its best! Just sink into the music, and be comforted. Landscape music. BUY BUY THE CD. You will see what im raving about.
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