Sunday, 3 June 2012

Sigur Rós - Valtari

After the album Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, people thought that Sigur Rós were becoming too commercial. There were jaunty pop songs on there. And then Jónsi's side-project Go had jaunty pop songs sung in English. But now, on Valtari, they've gone a hundred miles in the opposite direction. It's ambient, introverted, and relaxing. It's calm. This is what they've come back to after a long hiatus, and it sounds a little bit like they've come home. Með suð was a departure (a very good departure), and then they went back to Iceland to record something much more patient and experimental. At times it sounds like Takk, in others Ágætis byrjun, but it is much quieter. Ambient choirs, electronic soundscapes - it has most in common with the Jónsi & Alex album Riceboy Sleeps. It is not an immediate thing, and is best listened to all at once. They occasionally turn the volume up, like on the third track, with a familiar build to somewhere loud. But they finish with three ambient instrumentals that show they're confident enough to do what they want. It goes without saying that this is all beautiful, and when all is said and done, I think Valtari will be remembered as one of their best.

YouTube videos sound flat compared to the proper deep sound quality of the actual album, but, er, yeah, here's a YouTube video.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review! I enjoyed the new Sigur Rós album quite a bit, I'm a fan of the quieter ambient direction, particularly the opening two tracks appeal to me, which I find uplifting. That track you picked sure is beautiful and "heavenly"...

    ps The Tallest Man on Earth's new album is streaming for free on NPR First Listen this week ( :