There is perhaps nothing more sacred than the experience felt from listening to songs and albums that transport a given listener into different epochs of their own lives. Each note and chord progression ignites a visual representation of a sequence of memories or events; thus rendering the listener completely helpless as they recall past events. Photographs, motion pictures, and other artistic mediums certainly share the same nostalgic prowess that music possesses, but music is unique. Similar to memories themselves, music is not concrete. Songs and albums are nothing more than pieces of loose threading, and that threading is ultimately left to the consumer as they involuntarily weave distinct patterns into their own intricate webs. The previous point is especially true for a musical work that is written in a language that is foreign to the overwhelming majority of the world's population.
Sigur Ros' Takk
is a magnificent web that is comprised of the widest color spectrum. Takk
wears a sparkling and elegant atmosphere on its sleeve that serves as the album's binding. This bright atmosphere is nothing short of cinematic with the grand elements that Sigur Ros has become accustomed to utilizing over its near two-decade existence. Arguably the most notable of the aforementioned elements is the cello-bowed guitar, which is gorgeously implemented on tracks like Glosoli and Saeglopur. Jonsi uses his bowed guitar similar to how a masterful painter splashes their colors onto an easel, and he does it tastefully as it only complements the artwork's counterparts. Takk
also has orchestral instruments (similar to Sigur Ros' previous works), but instruments like the glockenspiel and the horns play a larger role than ever as they carry many of Takk's
greatest moments. Takk
is not only bright and innocent pastels however.
Sigur Ros' music is renowned for its exoteric emotional reins, and many a listener have grappled onto these reins for a variety of reasons. When it comes to Takk
, it is not hard to see why that happens to be the case. In many ways, Takk
is the perfect representation as to why that is the case, as the album spirals through pastel highs while it simultaneously treads on royal blues and reds. These deeper shades of emotion are perfectly exhibited on tracks like Saeglopur, Andvari, Hoppipola, and Hoppipola's sister track Meo Blodnasir. These tracks are some of the band's most accessible pieces of sonic exploration, but they are also some of the most captivating songs within Sigur Ros' genre.
is also a brilliant platform for Jonsi's voice, and his vocals represent a unique shade that sits somewhere within the middle of the spectrum. Jonsi's vocals bear an exotic timbre due to their high flavor. The previous point may be a negative trait to many listeners, but one of the most startling characteristics of Sigur Ros' vocal work is its instrumentality. All vocals carry sets of melodies disregarding their aesthetic quality, tone and timbres, but Jonsi's vocals bear a quality that is not far from being akin to an instrument like a soprano flute that is soaked with a dense reverb. The Icelandic lyrics certainly contribute to this as the non-Icelandic speaker's gaze is automatically focused on the voice itself. Takk's
melodies are absolutely stunning for the most part, and the only areas where the melodies tend to drag are the songs that do not offer dynamic contrasts. Svo Hjlott, a throwback from Sigur Ros' first album Von
, exemplifies this perfectly. While Svo Hjlott's melodies are still fantastic, the song does not have the same degree of curiosity that the rest of the tracks wear on their sleeves.
represents a dazzling web that resurrects a plethora of memories. Each of the memories that Takk
brings to life are largely insignificant and universal: graduations, social gatherings, long and forgotten trips with no ostensible purpose, but also heartache, loss, and those days where you feel as if you are drowning from the air that others appear to be taking in with no effort. Takk
is not a perfect album, but it is a superb album that perfectly exemplifies the term “bittersweet”. There are moments where it is impossible to not listen to this album as its a wonderful means of craving a musical sweet tooth, but there are also moments where it is genuinely hard to listen to this album due to its emotional dexterity. Regardless, Takk
on its own is an alluring experience that is vital for anyone who is craving sonic beauty, but is also velvet laced threading that implores you to weave its strings into your own series of intricacies.