Jonsi and Alex
Riceboy Sleeps


2.5
average

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
July 19th, 2009 | 61 replies | 10,799 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite having so much potential to be awesome, Riceboy Sleeps is something exasperatingly unremarkable, almost completely forgettable if it weren’t for the pang of disappointment.

There are so many things that should be awesome about Riceboy Sleeps that it kind of blows when it’s not. First off, it’s a product of Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi Birgisson, who, along with boyfriend Alex Somers, formed the Jonsi and Alex project in 2006. Though more ambient in style, the music of the two lads is not far separated from Jonsi’s mother band’s subdued, dreamlike post rock circa ( ). This in itself is apparent after opening track “Happiness” or the leaked teaser “Boy 1904.” Both songs are gorgeous harbingers of the album inside, arousing stirs in the pants of hip teenage boys reserved for all things Sigur Ros, prepping them for another beautiful album from their favorite gay Icelandic choir boy. And to its credit, Riceboy Sleeps is that, if anything. But Jonsi and Alex forgot a very important thing while making their Riceboy Sleeps album beautiful and warm and all those other superfluous adjectives. They forgot to make it interesting.

There’s no denying that Riceboy Sleeps is a pretty record. But- and this cannot be stressed enough- it is boring. The record constantly hints that something spectacular is about to happen, yet around “Indian Summer” or “Stokkseyri,” the creeping realization that in fact nothing is going to happen hits, and there is more than half the album to listen to. It is maddeningly frustrating, for while otherwise drifting along in a hazy cloud of major chords and drone, there are a multitude of stray ideas that if explored a little more thoroughly could make the record fantastic. For example, the heartbreaking choir that cameos in “Atlas Song” makes for a moment of the euphoric joy that the rest of the album surely aims for, only to disappear in a slow wave of wind sounds and other ambient tricks. Many songs follow in this vein, coasting along the same chord for way too long, only to deliver the payoff melodic interest briefly at the end, and even then it is not always easy to decipher what exactly Jonsi and Alex are going for. While clearly the boys were aiming for subtlety, tracks like “Stokkseyri” and “All the Big Trees” are so subtle they simply become washed away in the slow-rolling tides of the rest of the album. The resulting whole comprised of these parts is something exasperatingly unremarkable, almost completely forgettable if it weren’t for the pang of disappointment.

Riceboy Sleeps isn’t quite awful; on the contrary, there is enough warmth and prettiness to give the record some value. But by the same token, it’s certainly not fantastic either, and therein lies the great problem with the whole project. It’s just there, not really saying much of anything. Even the mixed-results experiment with indie folk on the last Sigur Ros album said something about Jonsi’s willingness to expand out of the trademark “Sigur Ros sound,” but this more obvious won’t-say-failure with ambiance is just proof that Jonsi’s best material comes out of that specific sound, pigeonholing him in that genre despite his best efforts to expand. Jonsi and Alex have the foundation to make something truly special, but until they build on it, there’s really no reason to give them a second look.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2009



15691 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Shortest review ive done but not much to say about the album without repeating myself

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins [AMDISCS]

Shrapnel94
July 19th 2009



2213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review. I wasnt really expecting much when I heard of this anyway.

Spare
July 19th 2009



5223 Comments


PANG

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2009



15691 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Riceboy Sleeps is more like a film, shot exquisitely in various breathtaking spaces, where the plot never moves forward because nothing ever goes wrong."

Favorite line about this album in the Dusted review

gaslightanthem
July 19th 2009



5209 Comments


riceboy reaps publicity

CelestialDust
July 19th 2009



3155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i could meditate to this all day...

Shrapnel94
July 19th 2009



2213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"...another beautiful album from their favorite gay Icelandic choir boy..."

I lol'd

thebhoy
Emeritus
July 19th 2009



4459 Comments


Happiness was one of the most uninteresting songs off Dark Was the Night. Jonsi's boyfriend's band (Parachutes?) opened for Sigur Ros when I saw them in Toronto, they were one of the most uninteresting live acts I've ever seen.

What I'm trying to say is I'm not getting this.

Shrapnel94
July 19th 2009



2213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Its kinda worth a shot I guess.

AtavanHalen
July 19th 2009



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think this would be wondrous music to sleep to, but there's not a lot else on offer. Pretty disappointing.

CelestialDust
July 19th 2009



3155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah this is basically music to relax to that's all

moderndaydrool
July 20th 2009



321 Comments


Damn, and I was looking forward to this.

Should I still give this a listen?

Piglet
July 20th 2009



4644 Comments


maybe this album is only to be accessed to a certain amount of people that prefer something of this variation and album cover.

tarethere
July 20th 2009



184 Comments


i think we all knew it was going to suck when chose the name riceboy sleeps

Shrapnel94
July 20th 2009



2213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Riceboy SLEEPS.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2009



15691 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

more like white boy sleeps

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2009



6956 Comments


I keep wanting these tracks to surprise me with an "Ara Batur" ending but they never do ugh i don't really like this

Digging: Wild Beasts - Present Tense

YouAreMySilence
July 22nd 2009



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I disagree 100%
except for the part about Indian Summer being spectacular, it is my favorite song of the year, besides Everlasting Light.

CelestialDust
July 25th 2009



3155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This isn't boring
This is the perfect meditation music, really enjoyed it this morning

natey
July 30th 2009



4170 Comments


i can't believe that I won't love this shit up but your review has really curbed some of my enthusiasm



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