Sigur Ros: Valtari (EI)

 |   |  1 min read

Sigur Ros: Varuo
Sigur Ros: Valtari (EI)

It has been some little while -- about four years -- since Sigur Ros last delivered a new album of their glacially epic sound, which for many had become beautifully executed and hypnotic but rather interchangeable. So you wonder what they might come back with.

Last year they seemed to have put a punctation point on the first phase of their career with the live album/DVD Inni

Their singer Jonsi had also offered a sophisticated if rather Teflon "pop" album (he also did the to soundtrack to We Bought a Zoo) so perhaps we might have expected a kind of "hope you like our new direction" album.

But no.

Sigur Ros return with the winning formula intact if erring a little more to the ambient rather than the consistent sky-scaling grandeur of their earlier work. This all sheets of voices -- arranged like a cathedral choir in God's waiting room on the soundtrack-like Dauologn -- and equally planar keyboard swathes designed with operatic sweep and which move from sometimes unsettling intimacy to the sweeping you up on the wings of angels.

There is always an undeniable and indefinable beauty about Sigur Ros, and here there are hints that new reference points might be the German group Popol Vuh (the wispery title track) as much as the canvas of their own design.

Interestingly the track Ekki Mukk - which sounds rather grubby -- is "translated" on the You Tube clip below as to mean "moving art", which is pretty much what this album is.

In slo-mo for the most part as on the lovely an understated closer Fjogur Piano . . . except when those angel wings take you higher and higher into swirling masses of clouds on the exceptional Varuo.

Business as usual in some ways, but not exactly the usual business in the world of contemporary music. 

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

Freddy Reddy - Jun 10, 2012

I have Heina DVD by Sigur Ros. Took me a while to get into but there have been moments of joy with this sound, most unusual.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Tift Merritt: See You on The Moon (Concord)

Tift Merritt: See You on The Moon (Concord)

To be honest, despite very much liking most of Merritt's '02 album Bramble Rose -- and concluding the review, "a name to remember, Tift" -- I lost touch with her augmented alt.country... > Read more

David Vandervelde: The Moonstation House Band (PopFrenzy/Rhythmethod)

David Vandervelde: The Moonstation House Band (PopFrenzy/Rhythmethod)

Well, if Noel Gallagher is allowed to wake up and think he's John Lennon, and Mika can channel the pop-tart spirit of Freddie Mercury, then why shouldn't this 22-year old rocker from Chicago be T.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JULIAN REID on the streets of weirdly normal Athens

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JULIAN REID on the streets of weirdly normal Athens

Julian Reid is a musician, graphic designer and photographer who has lived in London for over 10 years. This week he went to Athens on business. He reports that "it is a weird... > Read more

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

For a record company it was the cross-marketing opportunity of a lifetime. Well, maybe a lunchtime. But it seemed an uncanny coincidence that Neil Innes -- aka Ron Nasty of the Beatles-parody... > Read more