By Tim Byrnes
The Icelandic quartet known as Sigur Ros
do not trade in traditional verse chorus verse middle 8 pre chorus rideout
school of arranging. Their songs (and all songs on () are untitled and
sung in the Hopelandic language, which was invented by their singer/guitarist
Jonsi) seem to rise up from a well of soul, rise ever upward to spill out
into your listening environment like light.
() sounds like Pink Floyd's aura made a
record. The CD opens with the hymnlike '1', which uncoils in sleepy circles
until the organ, guitar and keening vocals break through a wall of glass
that feels like an army of lovers storming the gates of Heaven with flowers
in their hair. '2' reminds me of a Big Star Third out-take and, even with
the nonsensical lyric, imparts a feeling of loss and slow healing. '3'
kicks in a little on the Radiohead tip, the comparison is really unavoidable
as there are so few bands mining this particular strip on sonic/psyche.
The addition of a string quartet and what
sounds like sampled loops of crying kittens that pervade this record lend
a melancholy air and a subtle sophistication just this side of sadness.
() is a perfect record for communing with
the world one lives in and makes the day, for me, a little easier to put
up with. Far from new age musical wallpaper, () is a sonic environment
that makes ebbs and flows and darts and slithers with a life of it's own,
a life worth sharing.
Ros - ()
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