Sigur Ros
( )


5.0
classic

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
August 22nd, 2010 | 198 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A sublime, passionate template for every important moment in your life.

We've all known moments where it was difficult to know whether to laugh or cry, overwhelming pockets of emotion where no reaction seemed to do the weight of a realisation justice. It's like the twinge you get when you remember unequivocally happy and pure moments from years ago, and you're not sure how to respond. The proper thing to do is to dust yourself off and remember that life happens from here onwards, and the rest of it has already gone. But there's something incredible about those moments of inevitable nostalgia, something pure, and we all recognise the feeling in the pit of our stomachs, try as we might to ignore it.

With the duality of those moments as its fulcrum, ( ) is that feeling in all its potency for 71 whole minutes. The first four of its untitled tracks are intended to reflect happiness, and the latter four sadness, but there is far more to this record than a division so simple or crude. What ( ) does is to provide, eight times over, a beautiful template which evokes gut-level emotions that can in turn be tied to images and memories. Take Jonsi Birgisson's famous angelic vocals as an example of this; the frontman sings in Hopelandic, an invented language which somehow manages to draw a profound response despite only harbouring whatever meaning the listener projects onto it.

( ) is like this at every turn; 'Untitled 3' is painfully hopeful, 'Untitled 8' is mournful but liberated, and these conflicts occur throughout. There is nothing to hang onto except the rhythms and transcendent melodies, so the only option is to allow the gorgeous, passionate soundscapes to take their toll however comes naturally. Few of the movements here are hugely complicated, but they are nevertheless orchestrated with such instinct and spirited freedom that they feel dizzying even when they crawl; even the ambience is enthralling, not just padding for the passages with more friction to offer. But perhaps the most impressive thing is that even as 'Untitled 8' crescendos, not a single note feels suffocated. Birgisson is stood in his native Iceland surrounded by air and silence and nothing can rush him or shake him.

( ) is a record which needs to be engaged with in order for it to succeed, because despite its pretentious premises, it's gentle and unassuming. It's also devastatingly simple. Most of its heartstopping moments comprise one stunning idea, surrounded by a majestic sea of supporting instrumentation. All of these things make it arguably the most honest record ever written; there is not a moment which passes between the opening crackled keyboard of 'Untitled 1' through to the last cymbal crash of 'Untitled 8' where it feels like Sigur Ros are playing with anything other than their hearts. Their genius communicates that sincerity flawlessly, and the result is an album whose depth of emotion is capable of defining every important moment in your life, both joyful and solemn. If ( ) has a point it's that happiness and sadness are actually two sides of the same coin, and in that case, Sigur Ros are the richest band in the world.



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4.3
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
August 22nd 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

mmmmmmhmmmmmmmm

East Hastings
August 22nd 2010


4393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

insert img of failed review page here

AnotherBrick
August 22nd 2010


9772 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hmmmmmmmm

ShyGuy
August 22nd 2010


143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty impressive review. Describes how this album feels for me

Knott-
Emeritus
August 22nd 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

what is that Hastings

i think the brackets fuck this album up in the database when a review is posted

East Hastings
August 22nd 2010


4393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah it loaded everything vertically and fucked up it was weird hahaha

Ponton
Emeritus
August 22nd 2010


5820 Comments


good album


Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

bailar11
August 22nd 2010


2433 Comments


< 3 corazon knott

[img]http://www.boliviabella.com/images/enrique-iglesias-in-bolivia-21317317.jpg[/img]

still enriques fav contrib reviewer

ChineseChicken
August 22nd 2010


59 Comments


I prefer Caleb McAlpine.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2010


17231 Comments


With the duality of those moments as its fulcrum

sup highbrow

bailar11
August 22nd 2010


2433 Comments


caleb's probably my second favorite

ChineseChicken
August 22nd 2010


59 Comments


lol 'fulcrum'
what's next, overarching crescendos?

Counterfeit
August 22nd 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

east unbreak the page

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2010


17231 Comments


imo pianotuna is the most underrated writer on the site.

Knott-
Emeritus
August 22nd 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

duality as in the slipknot song, duh

corazon enrique :P good to know

East Hastings
August 22nd 2010


4393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

there ya go

Counterfeit
August 22nd 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx dahling

Ponton
Emeritus
August 22nd 2010


5820 Comments


yah smith and knott in general are destroyers

thanx for messing up the site hehe

bailar11
August 22nd 2010


2433 Comments


observer is probably in the top 3 or 4 as well

te quiero observer

Romulus
August 22nd 2010


8447 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Jared was this like a 2.5/3 for you once or am I confusing you with someone



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