Sigur Ros
Valtari


3.5
great

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
June 17th, 2012 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Can true beauty get boring after awhile?

After the delicate spring breeze of an album that was Með suð * eyrum við spilum endalaust, which saw the band's gentle big-scale sound at its most accessible yet (with compositions toned down in the time department to clock in 3-4 minutes less than usual), Valtari sees Sigur Rós returning to to their more well known approach consisting of melancholic ambient epics.

The band delivers another batch of songs that have atmosphere of an astonishing scope, which is filled with beauty and untainted raw emotion of such measure that it can only be defined by the pictures listeners paint themselves onto this canvas of songs that feel soothingly organic, and mystifying.

Taking them at surface value alone, Sigur Rós seem like they possess a signature sound that could get real old real fast. Track after track, and album after album of songs that soar to the rafters for a minimum of 6 minutes with gibberish for lyrics, is a style that could understandably get really boring, and begin to blur together and sound exactly the same with each release after awhile.

But that thin and simplistic view is only gained when interpreting Sigur Rós without any sense of depth or immersion, something that is required when experiencing the band's music. It's much like in reality, when viewing a site as beautiful as the ocean, you can simply go to the beach and just look at the ocean without taking a step back to think deeply and allowing yourself to be taken and immersed by the experience, and by doing so you'll simply view it as another same-old day at the beach, and subsequently won't appreciate the true beauty in the atmosphere to be found in the experience as much as you did the first time around. The beach never changes, and that same quality of an experience is waiting to be re-achieved if you alone will allow yourself to be taken by it again once you return.

The same could be said for Sigur Rós albums, as listeners are well aware of what they're in store for, but they want to return to it. As the experience to be expected does not progressively get weaker or generically predictable, is at the same level of enjoyment every time. Much like how someone will go on a vacation and have a great time, then after some time has passed go on the same vacation again and have as great of a time as before, a Sigur Rós album will be released, listener's will enjoy it for what the brochure promises, and then after a 4 year gap they will come back anticipating the experience for all the reasons they loved it before.

It's not as if listener's aren't provoked to be immersed and not pulled into the music either, as the aspects that define the band's music is so intricately intriguing, that it's difficult not to be automatically seized by the world of fascination their sound projects onto the listener. Sigur Rós does not fall into what seem like obvious pitfalls within their distinguished sound, because they have formed a sound that always peaks the same amount of curiosity and interest on every album.

The case with this album is that it's the same distinctive Sigur Rós as on preceding releases, but more of the same is only a problem that affects the record when the sound becomes weaker, uninteresting, and and watered down versions of what's already been done. This record doesn't display emotion like that of a post-grunge record where that case scenario is more prone to happen to a band's sound, this is the true visceral essence of embraceable beauty on an immense scale, and through artistic merit and cryptic treasures, Sigur Rós manages to keep their toned beauty consistently powerful and strong through simply being both as interesting and powerful as they always are.

This record obviously is not as powerful as when this sound was first introduced, but it's as consistently strong as ever, and definitely not a step back because it is more of the same. Sigur Rós as always, has created an album that captures the same beauty that is expected, and their form of beauty is just a beauty that is so pure, so interesting, so respectably artistic, and with such clear passion and infectiously absorbing atmosphere that makes one truly feel alive in their own realm, that it is something that is rewarding as it always is, and rewarding to newcomers as much as any album before it if listeners allow themselves to be taken by it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Graveyard
June 17th 2012


5771 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

disagree with your rating

but the review was well written so have a pos

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2012


50702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ahh a 2

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me in the River

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2012


4445 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. I agree with a lot of your points, review is really well-written.
POS'd

breakingthefragile
June 17th 2012


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys :D. I know I'm a little late to the party in reviewing this, but this thing just really inspires me to write.

MoosechriS
June 17th 2012


5039 Comments


Nice review bro, pos'd

geezers1989
June 17th 2012


135 Comments


butterfly farts the soundtrack, volume 100202023. so shitty.

duckenstein
June 17th 2012


15 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Bloated writing, too many adjectives and adverbs. No mention of a single track or instrument? You're apologizing for the album.

poorzack
June 17th 2012


80 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pos'd, still enjoy this album.



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