Olafur Arnalds
For Now I Am Winter


4.0
excellent

Review

by Grayson Hale USER (30 Reviews)
February 27th, 2013 | 35 replies | 7,970 views


Release Date: 02/25/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "For Now I Am Winter" is a bold step forward for Ólafur, adding an impressive amount of variety into an otherwise well-established formula.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Over the course of the past 5 years, Ólafur Arnalds has established himself as one of the most promising musicians in the Icelandic music scene. His sorrowful neoclassical pieces evoked the stark minimalism of Sigur Rós, combined with the simple ambience explored by Brian Eno. Through these influences and others, Arnalds was able to create a simple, short-form take on modern classical music that had enough crossover appeal to be enjoyed by fans of post-rock, ambient, and even pop music genres.

For Now I Am Winter is Ólafur Arnald’s latest effort and major label debut. First track “Sudden Throw” gets things underway with a typical Ólafur sound, much like that heard on 2010’s successful ...And They Escaped the Weight of Darkness. However, this doesn’t last long before bouncy violins and a glitchy electronic beat join the fray in “Brim,” a song that sounds very different to anything else previously attempted by the Icelander. The song undergoes multiple mood and atmosphere changes, eventually settling down into the slow and mournful sound we’ve come to know and love from the man. But perhaps the most radical departure comes in the form of vocal embellishments from singer Arnór Dan in the title track. His tender voice is used sparingly, appearing in only four of the album’s twelve tracks, and it certainly isn’t the kind of jarring voice that detracts from the music. Nevertheless, it will certainly be one of the release’s biggest talking points and could be a potential turn-off for some fans.

Other highlights include “Reclaim,” which combines the newfound electronic influences with the addition of vocals, and the gorgeous post-rock inspired build-up in “Only the Winds.” The strongest vocal performance from Dan can be heard in what is perhaps the record’s most surprising song, “Old Skin.” His voice is stronger and more confident here, providing a much-needed lift from the more traditional-sounding mid-section of the album. Electronic instrumentation again comes to the fore and percussive beats provide the backbone for “This Place Was a Shelter,” before being rounded-off by the charming ambience of “Carry Me Anew.”

For Now I Am Winter is a bold step forward for Ólafur, adding an impressive amount of variety into an otherwise well-established formula. The only question will be whether he manages to take this exciting momentum on to much greater heights in future.



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3.7
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other reviews of this album
Jacob Royal STAFF (3.5)
We too shall rest....


Comments:Add a Comment 
CaptainDooRight
February 26th 2013



28300 Comments


whoa, still gotta hear


Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

CaptainDooRight
February 26th 2013



28300 Comments


first off, great review, pos'd

"His tender voice is used sparingly, appearing in only four of the album’s twelve tracks, and it certainly isn’t the kind of jarring voice that detracts from the music."

this is a big relief for me


One suggestion:

"and a glitchy electronic beat join the fray in"

*joins

FEATURE REQUESTED

SAPoodle
February 26th 2013



454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fixed. Thanks a lot man, very much appreciated.

mindleviticus
February 26th 2013



8151 Comments


you beat me to this

great review though

tragic.details
February 26th 2013



624 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, pos'd.
I concur with the Captain; this deserves a feature.

theshelfmaster
February 26th 2013



221 Comments


Shouldn't it be "join"? It's the violins and the beat joining the fray right?



TheNexus100
February 26th 2013



2491 Comments


does this have slow emotional piano melodies 5/5?

zxlkho
February 26th 2013



3460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is an incredible album. I think it might be his best overall.

BigTuna
February 26th 2013



5154 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so where was this released?


Digging: Common - Nobody's Smiling

UnnamedOcean
February 26th 2013



3950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Will get this as soon as I can. Excited.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2013



7019 Comments


Yeah that actually should be "join".

SpritzSpritz
February 27th 2013



525 Comments


the vocal melody at the end of only the winds is the same as untitled 8 by sigur ros.

CaptainDooRight
February 27th 2013



28300 Comments


I still feels joins would be proper grammar. Where's brostepguy when you need 'em.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
February 27th 2013



10585 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Would kill for a link!!!

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013



7019 Comments


It's definitely "join".

You can think of it by asking what join/joins the fray, and the answer is "bouncy violins and a glitchy electronic beat", which as a pronoun would be "they" not "it", which is plural, so the proper verb to apply is "join".

SAPoodle
February 27th 2013



454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Changed back! Thanks so much guys

HeyListen
February 27th 2013



42 Comments


Nice review, can't wait to hear this

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oli's gone all Apparat on us. Definitely still elevator music.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2013



9977 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This definitely has its great moments, but at the same time Arnalds definitely occasionally loses sight of his endgoal. The second half in particular has a few unremarkable tunes that bring the album down for me.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

Xenophanes
Emeritus
February 27th 2013



10585 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Those vox : /



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