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on 24 June 2008
Sigur Ros are fast becoming a Popular Experimental Band That I Don't Like, a moniker I have only knowingly bestowed before on Spiritualised. On paper, Sigur Ros are a band that I should love, but it just doesn't really engage me. For all the cliches attached to music from Iceland ("molten magma, omnipotent ice fields and burbling hot springs" to borrow from the Amazon review) Takk doesn't sound like a band who want to distance themselves from this kind of lazy journalistic shorthand. Similar to their countrymen Mum, Sigur Ros make a music rooted in a visual language rooted very much in their country, which is not in itself the problem. The problem is that Takk sounds like a band working for the Icelandic tourist board - all glossy grandeur, enormous landscapes and sudden cutesy cooing and childhood whimsy. Those are the two themes, and they are repeated over and over ad nauseum.

Takk, tellingly Sigur Ros' first for a major label, plays to the stereotype of Iceland as some kind of fairytale wonderland full of playful, innocent but inadvertently sexy people, but is evocative of nothing else. Rather, Takk sounds like a band doing a parody of themselves, adopting a sonic grammar that is so blatantly them to be entirely predictable. Sure there are some impressive moments of sonic abandon, but in a post-post-rock era (if I can coin a phrase) where the likes of Godspeed, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Do Make Say Think etc. etc. have not left us wanting for crushing walls of feedback, Takk sounds a little too pretty, too contrived and too safe to move me. Furthermore, the `quiet bits' as I shall call them - a default mode of squeeling babytalk and glockenspiel - are irritatingly repetitive and uninspiring. Even Mum, who trade in similar atmospheres, have more than two gears, and succeed in provide more varied textures and instrumental passages.

The best moments owe themselves to other bands and are quite easily to live without. `Gong' for instance features a refreshingly ominous bass and discordant strings but borrows heavily from Radiohead's `Where I End and You Begin'. The singer's tendency to overdo the falsetto sometimes sounds frustratingly like a band striving to reach a sublimity that they haven't earnt through the power of the music. In other words, Sigur Ros never know when enough is enough, and new peaks appear when the intensity of the music has already outstayed its welcome. Likewise, the glacial prog of `Saeglopur' features some lovely, stately piano chords, but swells into an identikit guitar maelstrom that could be labelled the `loud bit'. I'm not certainly not averse to this kind of music, but Takk is really the commercial, superficial end of it, and massively overrated.
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on 7 October 2005
Like so many others, I have listened to countless bands over the years always searching for that elusive, seemingly unobtainable perfect sound. There have been so many false dawns, but today, as I yet again allow the sounds of Takk to engulf me I have reached the end of my odyssey. Suddenly my entire music collection, a lifetimes work, has become redundant as I allow myself to slide into the world of Sigur Ros. So many tracks leave me wanting to cry and laugh out loud at the same time. Life for the moment has no meaning beyond the indefinable lands that Sigur Ros rouse from somewhere, so long concealed, inside me. As I write this I am listening to the soothing sound of Andvari and I feel and see myself as a young infant, asleep, slowly drifting through space, at peace and in harmony with the whole of creation. Every track on this album transports me to another time and place, where only bliss and joyful thoughts, images and visions exist. Not memories, but a sensation of looking back at the happiest day of my life pervades my realm. May this fervent elation last evermore.
8 people found this helpful
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on 21 March 2010
Beautiful, imaginative and captivating. I loved this CD straight away and always find that it creates a great atmosphere. This is a little gem.
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on 5 April 2013
Not my bag I'm afraid. Decent enough soundscape but the singer's voice is very grating. Perhaps I need to give it some more plays and it might grow on me. Certainly they hve been give plenty popular aclaim.
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on 31 October 2006
I can't believe how good this is. I get shivers just thinking about it. I own Agaetis Byrjun and (), and although both those are masterpieces, this is definitely my favourite. I really can't stress how much this music affects me. It makes me want to die. In a good way of course. The day sigur ros releases another album will finish me off.
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on 23 September 2005
Again, Iclandic group Sigur Ros has released a fantastic album. So beautiful, so melodic. It is a magnificant fit to the Icelandic nature and atmosphere - go ahead and buy it now!
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on 8 June 2008
This album is absolutely amazing and i find it hard to believe that a thing of such beauty can actually be recorded onto a disc.
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on 17 October 2011
I love this album, for me it's their second best album, being the first one . Here you can find songs as Sæglópur and Hoppípolla, both a pleasure for listen
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on 29 December 2009
Beautiful writing allowing the listener to float off to a distant - and pretty magical - place.
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on 27 September 2005
I am listening to this album for the very first time as it arrived today. Wow! Reading others reviews, I had built up expectations of the track 'Glosoli' as it was being raved about so much. I will probably wear the CD out listening to this track, which is quite sensational. Occasionally, there are single tracks that warrant buying the album, regardless of what else appears, and 'Glosoli' is certainly one of those!
Having said that, the more the album goes on, the more tracks there are that are simply fantastic.
A great album, probably their best yet - if you like anything of the other three albums, this is an absolute must.
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