Still not quite perfect!,
This review is from: Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (Audio CD)
I really wanted this to be a five-star album, I really did! Sigur Ros have been producing top class album since 99's Agaetis Byrjun, and for a decade have provided moments of such untouchable ecstacy that, given their live shows, I thought that they had to eventually get it perfect on tape.
Let me do a quick review of the last few albums to put this in context:
Agaetis is really something, entirely different from anything I'd heard before, with moments such as the end climax of Vidrar Vel Til Lofstara (sp? - I'm doin this off the top of my head!) that are unforgetable. But it's too long, some of the songs are too long and too one-paced, and some of them sound too alike, to be able to give it five stars. Close, but no cigar.
Much the same could be said for (). 6 is a magnificent song - but isn't 4 basically a watered down version? And 5 and 7 - do they both need to be there?
I thought they'd done it with Takk, but now I'm not sure. Milano again is too long, and Hoppipolla 2 (afturback is it?) and Heysatan just isn't necessary. Again some wonderful moments but the overall album just falls short.
And so to Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, the new one. A new but not entirely different sound to kick us off with the wonderfully upbeat (I want to call it fun, with all the hand-clapping and la la la-ing) Gobledigook.
2 and 3 (I've forgotten to cut n paste the names) both carry on this theme. 2 is upbeat - the standout track on first listen and probably so on 100th. 3 is more downbeat but very much a Ros beauty.
The problem starts at 4. It's good but not unforgetable. This, apart from the magestic Festival (No.5)(almost two songs, but a singular sense of joy and wonder) and Aran Batur (No.7) could sum the rest of the album up. Towards the end there's something that sounds shamefully like filler. Aran Batur is one their moments though. Straight from the Ros school of 'build from nothing to epic crescendo', they throw everying and the kitchen sink at it, inlcuding a full choir and orchestra. And believe me it's not kitch, they pull it off with ample style!
I don't want to sound too harsh. The above reference to filler is only relative to Sigur Ros previous work. This is a very very good album that unfortunately, like previous efforts just falls short.