Sigur Ros
Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust


3.5
great

Review

by Lewis P. STAFF
June 20th, 2008 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With a buzz in our ear we play endlessly.

( ), an album that performed in water colors, still remains Sigur Ros’ defining statement. One could build a lot of pretense against the album, but there’s no doubt that those who adored it had good reason: it had flow, charm, and if you will, surprises. If Sigur Ros’ breakthrough Agaetis Byrjun doesn’t hold the same distinction, it’s simply a matter of taste for textures. But after the release of the still rather excellent Hvarf/Heim last year, a compilation of rarities and acoustic numbers, Sigur Ros as a whole seemed to be at a standstill. There are only so many ways you can hear Jón Birgisson croon wordlessly over a climax before you skip onto the next batch of chords. Maybe that’s why the release of “Gobbledigook” shook with such force; when you forget to expect the unexpected, your mind gets fucking blown. As far as tracks go, “Gobbledigook” is simple, but that’s why it is so effective. Like Animal Collective crossed Iceland and lived to sing about it, “Gobbledigook” treats its acoustic folk with a good helping of tribal beats, but the secret is in the vocals: wispy, chaotic and full of joy, all at the hands of a language so alien to our own. For weeks this was our only taste, and it slowly started to buckle under the weight of its increasing expectation.

That’s the devilish joke here, then, putting “Gobbledigook” upfront as the album's opener. It’s not a song that we can look forward to if we find ourselves restless with the rest of the album, or a single that can break-up monotonous filler. “Gobbledigook” is simply a new sound we’re finally used to, one that Sigur Ros daringly throw away as a crutch. By the time “Inn* mér syngur vitleysingur” rolls in, it feels like the með suð * eyrum við spilum endalaust’s true opener, and what a grand opener it is: a funky piano line, handclaps, Jonsi Birgisson’s almost painfully gleeful bellowing, all thrown in to create Sigur Ros’ pop masterpiece. At a just-perfect four minute running time, “Inn* mér syngur vitleysingur” is pretty spectacular on those first few listens, as is the whole of Endalaust. The beauty to “Góoan daginn” is constructing the powerful songwriting around the bare strumming of the acoustic guitar; for the album centerpiece “Festival,” it’s hanging every facet on Birgisson’s icy croons over lonely strings before building into the grand orchestration of its finale. No moment on the album quite matches the pounding build up of snares into the full band theatrics, trumpets and all.

And that’s the problem right there, really. You come to expect moments like these, and where an excellent album makes you enjoy the wait, feel the tension of the moments toppling over each other to get to some grand finale, Endalaust deflates like a balloon because of it. That’s not for lack of technique, because Endalaust is still another crowning achievement for a band that is nothing short of spectacular. But I begin to listen to songs like “Suo * eyrum,” a piano ballad struck with an irregular drumbeat, for elements, not its whole (even though the song’s warped outro is, well, awesome). Even with its inspired pacing (to quote a good friend, it has a gradual “birth to death” cycle), Endalaust stops short of fantastic because you can feel the progression for Sigur Ros brewing under the foundation, but its best tracks just add onto the tried-and-true Sigur Ros formula, and “Ára bátur” is all pianos and climaxes and hymns.

But like I said before, those that end up adoring Endalaust certainly have good reason. “Fljótav*k” is another graceful piano number that begins the album on its slow, elegant descent into its finale, the ambient drone of “All Alright” that, rather fittingly, extends its running time simply to drone, not to fascinate us by its tremendous climax. If you stop to think about it, Sigur Ros did exactly what they should have done. Too many gobbledigooks would have been a disaster, and simply forgetting Takk existed would have made the album feel cheap. So með suð * eyrum við spilum endalaust is just another Sigur Ros album, but if I can be the first to say it, our “first vital band of the 21st century” is starting to feel old hat.



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user ratings (1013)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
plane
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2008


6099 Comments


oh my god symbols

Aficionado
June 20th 2008


1027 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

tbh this reads abit disjointed. You have a gamut of ideas here that at the end the reader is faced with a lot more than they should be faced with. Some of the points you brought up were fairly accurate, but as a whole the review could have been a lot more cohesive. Still a good review nonetheless.
lol croon

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2008


6099 Comments


I was constructing this out of an earlier draft of a review which rated this a lot higher so yeah, I can see why it would do that. I'll probably go back and edit it up a bit.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2008


17944 Comments


this reveiw is AMAZING!

Neoteric
June 20th 2008


3243 Comments


Yeah, this review was a tad difficult to read, especially with the messed up symbols.

Good effort though!

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 20th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Simply another Sigur Ros album? No, no it isn't.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2008


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I knew this was coming down to a 3.5 when you said it fell off

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 20th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Lewis (4:42:18 PM): k off minor is officially second only to sigur ros

Altmer
June 20th 2008


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I have yet to hear this but will pick up eventually. The shopkeeper loves these guys.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2008


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I agree, track two is a masterpiece.

But Ara Batur is the best track on the album, and I don't get how its typical sigur ros. Its the grandest climax ive heard them do, and Ive never heard them do post rock with a full orchestra.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
June 20th 2008


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ara Batur may be typical build-to-climax Sigur Ros, but it's by far, as EC said, the grandest they've ever done. I can get plenty excited about a band doing what they're best at with the largest capacity they could muster.

review coming soonThis Message Edited On 06.20.08

foreverendeared
June 20th 2008


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good. review. this is such an amazing album. i don't think it's QUITE as good as Takk or their older albums, but i still love this

psilocybin
June 20th 2008


74 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If another band released this, it would probably be their best album. But it was created by Sigur Ros, so it's decidedly average.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2008


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

that's kind of a fucked up way of looking at an album...

Aficionado
June 20th 2008


1027 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lol that's hilarious

SHOOTME
June 20th 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, even if a little disjointed like everyone already said. Album gets a 4 now.

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2008


6099 Comments


okay everyone

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2008


6099 Comments


Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Lewis (4:42:18 PM): k off minor is officially second only to sigur ros

can't not love it now!

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2008


6099 Comments


i edited this

brandtweathers
June 21st 2008


2007 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i don't really understand where the disjointed comments come from because you created a comprehensive picture of the album and its place in music history to boot. commendable.

many of your sentiments with pop expectations mirrored my own and i understand the difficulty for sigur ros to shock their audience but i think a 3.5 is a bit low. i think you rated the relative instead of nominal impact.

note: pretty interested in your response...This Message Edited On 07.07.08



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