Sigur Ros
Inni


4.0
excellent

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
November 14th, 2011 | 85 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While it has its fair share of missteps, "Inni" still manages to be absolutely essential for anyone who has fallen for the beautiful and ethereal music of Sigur Ros.

Bewildering, disorienting, and claustrophobic-such things describe Sigur Ros’ second film, and first true live album, Inni. The band’s first foray into the visual medium, Heima, was a breathtaking, beautiful cinematic experience that blended the band’s music and personality with the absolutely stunning landscapes of their home country of Iceland. Ambitious in scope, and nearly perfect in its execution, Heima was a moving and evocative film that truly displayed the prowess of one of the worlds most cherished bands, and gave a more humanistic, introspective view of the men behind Sigur Ros.

Inni is a decidedly different type of experience.

What Sigur Ros did with their first film, they have simply refused to do here, which is refreshing to say the least. Inni is powerful in that is stands on its own as a unique and exhilarating experience, tying in everything that band is, has been, and perhaps ever will be. Thankfully, Sigur Ros was not content with merely releasing this recording on a visual format, as the film also doubles as a live album. For those who’ve not heard of the band’s performances, Sigur Ros is heavily lauded as an incredible and profound live act for a reason. Inni does an exceptional job displaying this, with the band largely playing at the height of their abilities, doing justice to their wonderful discography.

In regards to the visual nature of the release, Inni is a drastic departure from 2007’s Heima. Instead of the lush, vibrant colors and backdrops of Iceland, the viewer is instead put not only in the place of the audience, but in the place of the band as well. Close-up shots of the members and their instruments are common, giving a very personal, albeit claustrophobic view of the band. However, it is not how the film was shot that makes Inni such a profound viewing experience, but rather, it is in the way it is all presented. The movie is dark, hazy, and entirely monochromatic, with lighting effects waxing and waning to fit the aural portion of the show. Paralleling the bright nature of the music, the film is unsettling, as shadows are cast everywhere, and a cold ethereal mood blankets the entire thing. This style, despite seeming somewhat odd, is Inni’s greatest asset. From an artistic standpoint, the oversaturation and blurry aesthetic make the piece even more compelling. It’s unlike what one would expect, and the feeling it evokes is simply incredible.

Paired with the film portion, the music becomes something transcendental. The men behind Sigur Ros are known to be excellent performers, and that fact is put on full display here. Jonsi’s signature falsetto vocals are pitch perfect, even without studio manipulation. There are times where he likes to hold certain notes for extended, almost awkward, periods of time, but they do little to detract from the overall experience. Moments like these are welcome, however, as the spontaneous aspects are interesting to hear, especially for those who’ve committed these songs to memory. The band members themselves are simply stunning, but they cannot carry the entirety of the show, as the track list is, well, somewhat lackluster. While fan favorites such as “Ny Batteri,” “Popplagio,” and “Saeglopur” all rear their heads, questionable tracks do as well. It’s nice, really, to see such a phenomenally diverse track list, but one can’t help but wonder why “E-Bow” made the cut, or why even the most banal songs from Með suð * eyrum við spilum endalaust make an appearance. In fact, the plurality of songs on Inni are from said 2008 effort, which may dishearten some, and please others. Regardless, most of the album is filled with amazing pieces; many being some of the bands greatest they’ve ever released. Seeing "Svefn-g-englar" played in the abstract, enveloping darkness was an incredibly rewarding experience. Inni is filled with profound moments like this, in spite of the hit or miss track list. The biggest surprise comes in the form of the finale, "Lúppulagið," a brand new song. It’s one of the mellowest songs the band has ever produced; ambient, hopeful, and absolutely gorgeous, it serves as a perfect closer.

Had the news that Sigur Ros were reconvening been held off until a later date, Inni’s interpretation would have been a reflection of a band that has truly left a glorious mark on music. Instead, this is a celebration-a celebration of the power and magic of a band that has captivated people the world over with its beautiful and exhilarating brand of music. While many will mourn the inclusion of a certain song, or rally against the omission of another, one thing is certain: Inni is absolutely, unabashedly, and profoundly essential.



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user ratings (112)
Chart.
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excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 14th 2011


10614 Comments


Awesome film/album.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 14th 2011


7360 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review Eli

Still getting into Sigur Ros so I'll leave it a while before checking this out.

cvlts
November 14th 2011


8967 Comments


sputnik collectively thanks you

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 14th 2011


10614 Comments


Thanks Ali! I really implore ou to get more into this band. They're actually my favorite.




And what, Dante?

someguest
November 14th 2011


20878 Comments


I took a trip to the record store today and they had this on vinyl with the dvd included. I'm not really a huge fan of this group though.

Digging: Dexter Gordon - Our Man in Paris

FrankRedHot
November 14th 2011


6448 Comments


I have an Inni

pizzamachine
November 14th 2011


12571 Comments


Ambitious in scope, and nearly perfect in its execution

bwahaha I've heard this line so many times in reviews! Good review though.

psykonaut
November 14th 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

excellent work sir.

RosaParks
November 14th 2011


14926 Comments


WHAT THE FUCK THIS IS OUT OKAY

tarkus
November 14th 2011


5560 Comments


I need to get this

Fugue
November 14th 2011


7353 Comments


Ask and I shall receive. Gotta get this, glad it's good.

Review rocks btw.

Ending
November 14th 2011


1917 Comments


Whoa whoa whoa this came out..? Oh well, Sputnik's going to explode.

balcaen
November 14th 2011


3183 Comments


this is really good, though at time it feel it's too close to the originals and i think i'd honestly be better off just watching heima for the millionth time.
but goooood review eli. this better front page

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 14th 2011


50553 Comments


Heima blew my mind so I'll definitely be checking this out

psykonaut
November 14th 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i think i'd honestly be better off just watching heima for the millionth time.

i haven't gotten to watch inni yet but yeah this will probably end up happening to me

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 14th 2011


10614 Comments


Thanks bal, your comments are always appreciated ; )

I originally had it in the review that I felt like they sounded too similar, and the audience participation was low, so why not just stick to the originals. Idk why I left it out.

balcaen
November 14th 2011


3183 Comments


you'll cry it's so unreal psykonaut

i guess i'll listen to this again tonight and get around to rating it. seems like a solid 4 or 4.5
like most sigur ros releases though so it's no real big decision



Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 14th 2011


10614 Comments


No he means this DVD, Inni. He assumes he'll be like you and end up watching Heima again.....right?

balcaen
November 14th 2011


3183 Comments


OH
yeah probably it's hard to believe a sigur ros fan hasn't checked out heima

psykonaut
November 14th 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

correct, i accidentally used an ambiguous demonstrative which i have, as a result, edited to be more precise



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