Sigur Ros
Agaetis byrjun


5.0
classic

Review

by Miguel Walter USER (20 Reviews)
May 18th, 2006 | 8 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


Except for Kid A and maybe OK Computer, Ágætis Byrjun is my favorite album of the last decade. My all-time top 10 would include those two Radiohead album, some Bob Dylan, some Tom Waits, some MF Doom, maybe Neil Young's unplugged, maybe Miles Davis' Tribute to Jack Johnson and, well, THIS ALBUM. Buy why? Why do I care so much about this album? I've heard the band's other efforts, I've heard Explosions in the Sky (and love them), I've heard Godspeed (and love them), I've heard all of this stuff, yet this album is far-and-away my favorite.

This badboy is 10 songs (well, 9, I guess ... well, I guess you could call it 8, "Avalon" just kind of closes things up) of excellence. "Sven-G-Englar" seems to be the one more casual fans focus on and it certainly is a classic ... you could call it Sigur Ros for beginners, but its really just a top-notch recording. "Staralfur" is like Radiohead's "Motion Picture Soundtrack" only much longer and more mesmerizing. I love the guitars, I love the vocals and the best part is the climax, where it sounds like you are listening to fireworks underwater. And, for a band like Sigur Ros where every song sounds even better while smoking with some friends, "Staralfur" goes from mind-blowing to almost life-changing while high, I don't know what it is.

The final song I want to rant about, though they are all excellent, is "Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa." I recently saw this song live and it might be the best song I've EVER seen live ... and I've seen some damn good ones live, too. It just blew me away. But even on the CD, it is amazing ... sure, the intro is probably a little too long, but that's only because I know how good it is and I get impatient. Once the piano part starts, I'm set. I respect the hell out of Mogwai, but I think I'll take the piano part on "Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa" over anything from the Happy Music disc. Its just ***ing amazing, I don't know what else to say.

I hate ranting this much, and I hate soundling like a fan that can find no wrong in the music they like, but this is one of those albums that I truly can't find anything wrong with. As I said, I rank it up there with Kid A as one of the most incredible albums of the last ten years. Anyone that has ever heard of Sigur Ros, but never gave them a chance, START HERE. Anyone that has heard other albums by Sigur Ros but not this one, CHECK THIS ONE OUT. This is it, folks, this is the one. It is all about "the fetus album"!

I like ( ) a lot and I love Takk ... , especially after seeing almost the whole thing live, but this one still stands as the band's strongest effort by FAR.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
morrissey
Moderator
May 18th 2006


1688 Comments


The first half seems like it should be confined to a journal, I don't think it really belongs in a review. Others may disagree. Welcome to the site, looking forward to more reviews!

pattern_recognition
May 19th 2006


950 Comments


This is a truly great album, particularly tracks 3 and 7 and the title track. And I liked Avalon!

slack
May 19th 2006


249 Comments


Track 4 is my favorite. These guy's are awesome.

BringHomeTheBacon
May 19th 2006


248 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I can't decide which of the last three Sigur Ros albums I like best. They're on a scale with each other to me, each one fits a certain mood. All the songs are great but my faves are Svefn-G-Englar, Hjartaõ Hamast (love the harmonica), and Viõrar Vel Til Loftárasa.
Nice first review, glad you like sputnik. But I agree with Morrissey, the review needs more focus on the album and the songs and less on pretty irrelevent stuff, like in the intro.


STLMiguel
May 19th 2006


335 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I edited the intro and fixed a few glaring things, but I didn't want to add too much, it would feel like cheating. Thanks for the critique.

eggsvonsatan
March 20th 2008


1087 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ok, I know that reviews are supposed to be opinionated, but saying that you like this CD because they kicked ass live and you like getting stoned to their music does not justify a classic album. If you really think of this as a classic you damn well better give us some better reasoning.

soldier0cross
February 27th 2010


26 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^ agreed

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 18th 2010


10596 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is incredible...

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!



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