Sigur Ros
( )


5.0
classic

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
January 16th, 2005 | 94 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


Sigur Ros are an Icelandic band that create some of the most unusual sounds heard in recent music. Coming from Iceland, the band formed in 1994. The band use some pretty standard instruments, yet create a remarkable sound. Their instrumentation is just the standard guitar, drums, bass and keyboards. Guitarist and vocalist, Jonsi often uses a cello bow to play his guitar. One of the most unique things about Sigur Ros though, is Jonsi's vocals. In the words of the band's official site, the sound of Jonsi’s voice is halfway between that of Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and a choir boy. Add this to the fact that when they do use lyrics, Sigur Ros sing in Icelandic. This album however, includes no lyrics at all, Jonsi just makes up random syllables and uses his voice as an instrument.

While this record may not offer much in the way of variety, it has some of the most beautiful music ever written on it. This album is easily one of the best records of this decade. While not the most accessible thing you will ever listen to (the album has no lyrics at all), it would be nearly impossible not to recognise the beauty in it. The album was labelled as pretentious by many critics, due to the fact that the album has no real title (it just uses a symbol) and that there are no real song titles (although there are some unoffical ones). However, Sigur Ros are just out to make the music that they want to make. When they were offered a record deal with a major label, they chose the deal that allowed them the most artistic freedom. They are simply doing what they want with their music. Some people may think that they are being pretentious, and Jonsi has said that people are welcome to think that if they want. All the band really want to do is make the music that they want and that will touch people. The music of this album doesn't set out to blow you away with technicality or diversity, rather the beauty of the music. The album isn't very diverse and all of the songs are very long, with nothing being under 6:30. The album in total goes just over 72 minutes, yet contains only 8 songs.


The album shipped with 4 different looking covers:


The Band
Jonsi Birgission (Vocals, Guitars)
Kjarri Sveinsson (Keyboards)
Orri Poll Dorason (Drums)
Gorggi Holm (Bass)


http://us.ent2.yimg.com/musicfinder..../sigur_ros.jpg


Untitled 1 (vaka) - The song starts out with a really simple, sort of sad sounding piano riff. It's a very simple riff, you could probably work it out on piano in a few minutes. But despite it's simplicity, it sounds amazing. Jonsi’s vocals come in with him singing syllables that sound like this: "eusaidahlom". Works awesome. Part way through the song, the mood changes to a happier sounding tone. Jonsi’s vocals change and go higher and the piano parts go up as well. This song is one of the album's best, very pretty. An awesome way to open the album, this song sets the mood and feel for how the rest of the album turns out. This song featured a video clip which won a MTV award...pretty special for a band who don't even get played on MTV.
5/5

Untitled 2 (frysta - The song is based around some nice little lead guitar riffs. The vocals sing some pretty high notes and the song is backed up by some awesome organ parts along with some slow, march type drumming. The nicest part of the song is the organ parts and Jonsi’s vocals. The lead guitar at the start is nice but gets a bit tiresome after a while. Without being harsh, the best part of the song is when it ends, because of the transition of it into the next song, which sounds amazing.
4/5

Untitled 3 (samskeyti) - The song transitions from the last song with the two chords G# and Bb played on a really pretty mellow sounding organ. The organ part is the backbone of the entire song, just playing a 6 chord progression. There are some light vocals by Jonsi in the first minute but that's all the vocals we hear in the song. Then the amazing part of the song comes about a minute in. One of the most simple and beautiful piano riffs comes in. It sounds simply amazing when backed by the organ part. The song then starts to build up, with Jonsi using an e-bow on his guitar and a bass coming in. For quite a few minutes when the song is at it's peak, the same thing keeps just playing over and over...at this point you will be completely blown away by the beauty of this song. After a while, the piano part goes up an octave, something you would expect to happen but you don't know when it's actually going to happen (if that makes sense). At this point, the song is at it's peak, but then the pianist does a quick rest and then comes in again. That short part of the song that happens in the space of about 5 seconds in my favourite part of the whole cd, possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. This song is easily the best on the album and easily one of the best songs ever record. It will change your life. After I first heard it, I had the song on repeat for about an hour and I didn't even realise. After you hear this, you will be reaching for the repeat button...I know I was. This is the shortest track on the album at 6:33, but 6:33 is really the perfect length for it. This song is the one of the closest things you will ever hear to musical perfection.
5/5

Untitled 4 (njysnavolin) - "Untitled 3" is an impossible act to follow. But this song is still the second best track of the cd. Its' very nice with a straight drum beat backing up some nice keyboard and lead guitar parts. Jonsi sings some very nice vocals with the main syllable being "easiarrro". The best part of this song is when all the other instrumentation cuts out and we are just left with some beautiful keyboard parts. Every time it happens the parts are different and each time they are amazingly spectacular. Jonsi’s vocals on this track are wonderful and all of the instruments work amazingly. The end is gorgeous and sounds a bit similar to "Exit Music (For A Film)" by Radiohead.
5/5

Untitled 5 (alafoss) - This song sounds kind of like something Radiohead would do, but not really as good. The mood of the song is pretty gloomy and it stays pretty much the same all the way through. It's not the best song on the album and it's not very good at first listen, but after a little while it becomes a grower and it has a very surreal sound. The instrumentation is hard to pick up, it's hard to tell what's a guitar or keyboard, the only things that are easy to distinguish are the drums and vocals. It builds up a bit towards the end with drums and organs and that's when the song peaks. Probably not the best song overall, but a good, solid song nonetheless.
3.7/5

Untitled 6 (e-bow) - This song is gorgeous. It maintains the mood of "Untitled 5", yet through different instrumentation and vocals, manages to be more uplifting and interesting. Jonsi often sounds like he's about to cry in the song, his vocals are amazing and easily the best part of the song. This song has it's good moments and it's not so good moments. But all in all, it's amazingly touching. Towards the end of the song, it goes loud with a lot of lead guitar and piano backing it up. This part is amazingly touching and beautiful. It's the sort of song that will make you cry. Just amazing. An interesting note is that they called the song (unofficially) "e-bow" because they used an e-bow on their guitar AND their bass.
4.5/5

Untitled 7 (dauoalagio) - This song is also beautiful. Better than "Untitled 5", but not really as good as "Untitled 6". Jonsi’s vocals are the best part of the song, along with the drumming. Other than that though, it's pretty much just a less superior version of "Untitled 6". This is the longest song that the album has to offer at a whopping, exact 13 minutes long.
4.1/5

Untitled 8 (popplagio) - The song starts out with a really nice and pretty guitar riff. Then the e-bowed guitar and atmospherics come into the background, along with some nice tom work on the drums. The guitar work and Jonsi’s vocals are the highlight. The song is very pretty and uplifting. It makes a very nice way to end an incredible album. The translation of the unofficial title means "the pop song". This is one of the more accesible tracks of the album, so that title makes sense. Jonsi’s vocals are cool in this song, with the main syllable being "easailohm". Overall, this song is a highlight of the album, probably tied with "Untitled 1" and just below "Untitled 3" and "Untitled 4". Very nice work from every member of the band here, but special credit must be given to the drummer, who makes an amazing song sound completely surreal and very atmospheric. The mood of the song changes for the end of it, and while it leaves the album on a strange note, it sounds extremely good.
5/5

This record is one of the best things released this decade. Easily. While it may not be perfect (not much diversity, one or two tracks are a bit boring), it has some of the most beautiful music ever made. And because of that, this album deserves nothing less than a 5/5. While you notice flaws with this record, all that you remember after listening to it is the beauty of songs like "Untitled 3", "Untitled 4", and "Untitled 1". A seriously amazing record that no one will regret buying, even if they use it for nothing but anger management. This album is the most relaxing music ever.

FINAL RATING: 5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
el doctor
January 17th 2005


83 Comments


I find this album slightly disappointing. It's great "mood" music, but it gets fairly boring. Beautiful songs, but half of them do nothing for me since they run together and do sound similar. However, Untitled 1, 3, and 8 are undeniably incredible songs. Where as many people find this album to be the masterpiece and gtis Byrjun to be just another piece of work, I find it to be the opposite. Even so, I still give this a 4/5.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
January 18th 2005


2125 Comments


I find Agaetis Byrjun to be more consistent, but I prefer the great songs on here.

Oli_m
January 19th 2005


16 Comments


I fully agree with this review. Good stuff bread. 1,3 and 8 are fantastic.

AfroMan
January 29th 2005


101 Comments


I love this album, although it's far from perfect.

My favourite track is Untitled 7. It's powerful crescendos sound like a Radiohead/Pink Floyd hybrid. Easily one of the most outstanding pieces of music ever.

As for Untitled 1. I think they ruined the track around 5:00. The sound is so high that its almost un-listenable. Apart from that it's such a beautiful song.

I wouldn't say that Agaetis Byrjun was better than (). They're both equally very beautiful pieces of music that are brilliant in they're own different ways.

Awesome review Bread.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
February 19th 2005


2125 Comments


The part at 5:00 of Untitled 1 is my favourite part. Although it is really high.

Wanker
February 25th 2005


139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Everything is great sans Untitled 5. My friend and I agreed on this. But the other day, he said that he'd been listening to Untitled 5 and was like, "I dunno man."

So I might give it a few more go's.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
March 10th 2005


2125 Comments


My friend reckons 5 and 6 are his favourites. 6 and 3 are my favourites. I dunno, I just see 5 as an inferior version of 6. And it's still good.

Wanker
March 11th 2005


139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I see 7 as being inferior to 6. I don't really like 5 that much at all. Everything else though... well... look up a little.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
March 11th 2005


2125 Comments


Everything is inferior to 6 :cool:

The Ashtray Girl
March 12th 2005


108 Comments


That's a lie, 1, 3 and 8 combined could take over the world, but 3 by itself does serious damage.

This has to be the third time I've read this review, I just enjoy it that much :thumb:

br3ad_man
Emeritus
March 12th 2005


2125 Comments


aww

Well, I think this is proof. This is the best album ever.

woofwoofwoof
March 23rd 2005


156 Comments


listen to # 7 in rewind. not just backwards.. but like fast foward backwards. so.. fast backward. listen to it in fast backward, and it sounds wonderful.

woofwoofwoof
March 26th 2005


156 Comments


gtis Byrjun > ( )

Dancin' Man
March 30th 2005


719 Comments


How have I not commented on this yet?

I love this album with all my heart. Has everyone here seen the video for Untitled 1? It is amazing. So sad, but yet it has so many uplifitng ideas within it.

Dancin' Man
March 30th 2005


719 Comments


Gah! lost a long comment.

Anyway, 3 doesn't do nearly as much for me as 1, 4 and 8 do.

This album would be perfect for when I have a baby. I will play this album for the kid all the time. It just sounds like a big long lullabye.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
April 1st 2005


2125 Comments


I like 6 much better than 8.

Med57
Moderator
April 9th 2005


1001 Comments


You got me into these guys, br3ad, and this is a brilliant album. One of the most relaxing that I've ever listened to.

Iai
Emeritus
April 14th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I've gone off this album recently. I can barely listen to it any more. I don't know why.

I used to love it as much as everyone else seems to, though.

EvIL_ToASTER_OVEN
May 14th 2005


24 Comments


I bought it last night. I listened to it while falling asleep. But I didn't want to fall asleep, because I kept wanting to hear the pretty music. But by 4 I was lulled to dreamland. Sweet album/review



Kingofdudes
July 14th 2005


294 Comments


Great review. I cant stop listening to 1 and 8. 4.5/5 for me



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