Review Summary: Gentle, gigantic, genuine emotion joined with dreamy surrealism becomes more personal and less ridiculous than it sounds.
It’s as if the thin canopy shielding a child’s mind was torn open, and everyone was exposed to a rich and vivid world of colors, textures, and massive bouts of imagination. As the album cover suggests, the artist tries his best to present to you his very optimism, his very immature soul, wrapped up in a box that can barely contain it, positively bursting at the seams, wanting desperately to paint the world with bright colors...
...Now, that's a bit dramatic, but it's not too untrue for a guy like Jonsi
Here we meet the man credited with creating some of the most widely affecting emotional music under the moniker of the critically acclaimed Sigur Ros
, known to live and breathe sophistication, shedding his pain and seriousness for a playful and free adventure into childlike fantasy. For a brief 40 minutes, we’re granted permission to feel and experience the beauty of Jonsi’s spirit and unbridled creativity, being blasted into the stratosphere to the sounds of pulsing strings, electronic thumps and clicks, layer upon layer of percussion, gorgeous piano melodies, and a sweet, sweet falsetto extending their hand to you for your friendship. Accepting their hand will give you a friend that will never fail to give you strength, through thick and thin, through depression and anxiety, and do it with a warm grin on their face: that friend is the eccentric Go
Right off the bat, Jonsi invites us into his bright and chipper world with the massive “Go Do”, unwavering in his angelic falsetto and calling us all to become anything we want to be and do anything we have the potential to do. As lush and extravagant as it is, the track never seems to break a level of pretentiousness or become boring, lost, and humdrum, and neither do the rest of the album's tracks. They never meld together in their sound, but culminate in an understanding and glowing representation of the human vision and soul. Lighting up any and all shadows in its path, the album is a juggernaut of wonder and delight, breaking the sound barrier and shattering any and all preconceived notions of what a pounding, laughing journey into endearing artistry should be. Growing and growing on itself, the album has a wonderful momentum as it shifts in and out of gear every song but keeps in mind its purpose. It’s tall and proud and unafraid to show some skin and heart, because Go
never loses sight of what it wants to be and what it believes in as it expands and builds into the sky and grows older.
The dynamic of the album expands and contracts in its mesmerizing sonic arsenal, utilizing samples, electronic drum beats, chirping woodwind accompaniment, and orchestral support. The album is always unbreakable and phenomenally sound at the core, never giving way to the child inside of it. Ferocious but gentle, the album hangs onto only threads that keep it from exploding into an uncontrollable fit of pouring, sensing, and feeling the world at large and flying in all directions. It’s this control that makes the album so astonishing: disciplined, and at the same time, carefree and unwilling to fit into itself. It’s always striving for something beyond it and something beyond humanity, marching to the beat of its own divine inspiration in tracks like “Animal Arithmetic”. It’s the juxtaposition of absolutely pounding drums and overwhelming textures of woodwinds and strings, cymbals, and an entire rainbow of hues and ideas with the somberness of tracks like “Tornado”, lonely but unbelievably hopeful at the same time, that give the album a character and an identity never once misplaced throughout the entire journey as it grows from the inside and bleeds itself of anything that could be mistaken for sorrow. Go
always finds a way to cheer itself up, simple and pure like the child that Jonsi is.
The record always glimpses into the future with bright eyes and its head held high. “I want to be a Lilikoi Boy,” warbles Jonsi, as the hyper music joins him on his voyage into the remarkably beautiful world of growth and discovery. This world at its largest can’t even seem to hold Jonsi, as he continues to melt down and reinvent himself and his stunning falsetto and pushes onward into his imagination, and cries out in joy through his surreal performances. “Sinking Friendships” finds Jonsi shouting out to the entire universe, “It’s a song to you!” along with the excitable, hyper, vast sounds of a grandiose and sweeping instrumental, and we see him playing like a child with you through his delivery, and asking for your hand once more.
It’s really an enigma, why Go
never falls into itself or loses momentum. It’s always incredibly charming and connects on a deeply personal level, refusing to forget its identity or let up in its assault on the senses. Flying at top speed at some times, and sitting down to cry at others, it never becomes weak or hopeless. For this reason, the album is ethereal and confident, encouraging every living being to become something beyond physical existence. Jonsi is an eccentric guy, like the eccentric Go
, but it’s ultimately a remarkable insight into his simple views on growing up and growing until we’re taller, and that’s the reason that it’s so magnificent. Getting to know Jonsi and his seeming lack of boundaries can help us learn ours, and that’s a great thing.